Forcing A Kid To Be Oprah-Like

I had just returned from a week of yoga and mediation at Kripalu in the Berkshires and feeling limber and clear-headed.

“New family rule!” I announced to Savannah, my 8-year-old, at breakfast. “From now on Friday is gonna be our ‘Family Gratitude and Appreciation Dinner.’”

“Family?” she said, scrunching her face, shocked that we could share the same DNA. “Yea, for now on at Friday dinner we’ll share a couple things we appreciate in our lives and some good deed we either observed or did ourselves,” I explained.

I snatched the idea from Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar. An expert on positive psychology, he has conducted extensive research on the topic and written several books, including, Being Happy, Happier and Happier Now. He had spoken extensively at Kripalu about the benefits of gratitude and appreciation.

“I’m not gonna do it,” she said picking at her cheese and refusing to look at me when she spoke.

She clearly didn’t get it. This is something Oprah or Deepak Chopra would do. She needed to be more positive. Damnit!

What should have been a nice morning felt like a terrorist negotiation as Savannah proceeded to argue and mock my idea.  Any dreams I had of being a Tony Robbins-type mom who inspires good grades, productivity, social responsibility and, if all goes well, a Wimbledon Champ or a Nobel Prize winner were  gone.

“I’ll ONLY do it if I can choose the restaurant where we eat!” she announced.

All I could think is something I once read: “Never negotiate with terrorists.”

“We’ll see.”

2 responses to “Forcing A Kid To Be Oprah-Like

  1. Kripalu is a very inspiring place. If only everyone we know and interact with could get a dose of that reality, huh? I now see why monks cloister themselves…it’s so much easier to practice their spiritual path with those who are on the same journey and while separated from the frenetic world.

    I suppose the true test of one’s inner peace is being able to maintain it midst the chaos of daily life and our loved ones… 😉


  2. That sounds like a really lovely idea! I remember going to a talk on happiness and keeping a gratitude journal in a definite way of helping yourself feel happier.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s