Raising Children With an Attitude of Gratitude – WSJ.com

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Great article from the Wall Street Journal about Children, Gratitude and Giving.

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At the Branstens’ modern white dining table, the family holds hands for their nightly ritual.

Arielle, 8 years old, says she’s thankful for her late grandfather, Horace, and how funny he was. “I’m missing him,” she says. Her third-grade pal, over for dinner, chimes in, “I’m grateful for the sausages.” Leela, who works for an education nonprofit, and her attorney husband Peter, burst into smiles. The San Francisco couple couldn’t have scripted this better. Appreciation for things big and small—that’s why they do this.

Giving thanks is no longer just holiday fare. A field of research on gratitude in kids is emerging, and early findings indicate parents’ instincts to elevate the topic are spot-on. Concrete benefits come to kids who literally count their blessings.

Gratitude works like a muscle. Take time to recognize good fortune, and feelings of appreciation can increase. Even more, those who are less grateful gain the most from a concerted effort. “Gratitude treatments are most effective in those least grateful,” says Eastern Washington University psychology professor Philip Watkins.

A field of research on gratitude in kids is emerging, and early findings show that kids who literally count their blessings show concrete benefits. Diana Kapp explains on Lunch Break. Photo: Getty Images.

Among a group of 122 elementary school kids taught a weeklong curriculum on concepts around giving, gratitude grew, according to a study due to be published in 2014 in School Psychology Review. The heightened thankfulness translated into action: 44% of the kids in the curriculum opted to write thank-you notes when given the choice following a PTA presentation. In the control group, 25% wrote notes.

“The old adage that virtues are caught, not taught, applies here,” says University of California, Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. Parents need to model this behavior to build their children’s gratitude muscle. “It’s not what parents want to hear, but you cannot give your kids something that you yourselves do not have,” Dr. Emmons says.

This may seems obvious, but it eludes many parents, Dr. Watkins says. “I think the most important thing for us adults to realize is we’re not very grateful either,” he says.

The mere act of giving thanks has tangible benefits, research suggests. A 2008 study of 221 kids published in the Journal of School Psychology analyzed sixth- and seventh-graders assigned to list five things they were grateful for every day for two weeks. It found they had a better outlook on school and greater life satisfaction three weeks later, compared with kids assigned to list five hassles.

via Raising Children With an Attitude of Gratitude – WSJ.com.

Audrey’s Ramblings: Just Breathe….

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We’re back posting on our blog again.  We have a two new members, Audrey and Amy, who will be helping us write our blog posts.  Hope you enjoy them.  Here’s a little something from my dear friend Audrey.  To see more of her other posts, visit our site: http://www.givingartfully.com/category/audreys-ramblings/.

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So, I thought I’d follow up from my thoughts in the first part of my last blog post.  The idea of really living IN the moment.  It’s hard-the days are full of them, and most of us are so busy, it’s hard to not be thinking ahead to the next thing on your list. I’m super guilty of that.  And when I’m not busy, I’m guilty of killing time wastefully, not using that precious free time to focus on one of those things I’m always regretting that I don’t have time for!

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New Projects Posted on Giving Artfully

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11.14.13

We have a few new projects that we posted on the Giving Artfully website.  Its been an exciting few weeks as we reached a few milestones.  We surpassed 2000 committed donations and have over 1000 Facebook fans!  We are working on some new upgrades to the website that we hope will make the charity crafting process even easier!

Here are four new projects posted on Giving Artfully:

Thanks for helping these wonderful projects and being part of the Giving Artfully community!

November/December 2013 Craft-a-long

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Its time for our November/December Craft-a-long!  What’s a craft-a-long? A chance for people to come together to craft for a common purpose. It’s a great way to get inspired by seeing other people’s works! Come join us whether you are a beginner or experienced crafter – there is something for everyone!

Here are the five organizations for November/December 2013 Craft-a-long. At the end of December, one random individual that participated in the Craft-a-long will win a prize as a thank you for helping these wonderful organizations. Projects need to be finished by December 31, 2013 to be eligible for the prize.

If you are interested in joining the Giving Artfully Craft-a-long, just reply to this post with the following information:

1) Project/Charity
2) Start Date
3) Finish Date and picture

Feel free to use any pattern as long as they follow the guidelines, if any, from the organization.

The 5 organizations for the September/October KAL/CAL are:

Project #1052: Calvin’s Hats
MicroPreemie Hats

Project #1056: Loved-Squared
Squares for children living in shelters and tent cities

Project #1032: Kathleen’s Hat for Hope Initiative
Crocheted/Knitted/Sewn Hats, Mittens, and Scarves

Project #1030: Beth’s Hat for Hope Initiative
Crocheted/Knitted/Sewn Hats, Mittens, Slippers, and Scarves

Project #1027: Mitten’s for Maine’s Children Home
Mitten’s for children
(Deadline: December 1st)

Hope you can join us for this month’s Craft-a-long!

Happy crafting!

~Sitinee

Who has been Charity Crafting with Giving Artfully?

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For it is in giving that we receive.
                                              ~Francis of Assisi

What a journey!

We have crafters from 30 states, British Columbia and Victoria Australia.  Together, we have committed to over 2000 donations to over 50 project/organizations.  Our crafters have helped everyone from families in need, to preemies to orphans in Eastern Europe.  Thank you to all crafters for their generosity and dedication to charity crafting.  You are all making a difference in many lives.

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September/October 2013 Craft-a-long (CAL)

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Happy Fall from Giving Artfully!

It’s time for our next craft-a-long!  Congratulations to Ravelry member sherg5, for winning our $10 gift card to Amazon.  She made 5 hats for Stitches from the Heart.

What’s a craft-a-long? A chance for people to come together to craft for a common purpose. It’s a great way to get inspired by seeing other people’s works! Come join us whether you are a beginner or experienced crafter – there is something for everyone!

Here are the four organizations for September/October 2013 CAL. At the end of October, one random individual that participated in the CAL will win a prize as a thank you for helping these wonderful organizations. Projects need to be finished by October 31, 2013 to be eligible for the prize.

If you are interested in joining the Giving Artfully KAL/CAL, just reply to this thread with the following information:

1) Project/Charity
2) Start Date
4) Finish Date and picture

Feel free to use any pattern as long as they follow the guidelines, if any from the organization.  Also, when you are ready to mail your package, please remember to fill out a donor form on the our web page so we can keep track of items made.  Also, please include the donation form in the package, it will help us and the organizations keep track of items.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reply to this thread or email me at sitinee@givingartfully.com.

The 4 organizations for the September/October CAL are:

EEROP 
Project # 1008 
Hats for children in Orphanages in Eastern Europe and Russia

Second Chance Homeless Center 
Project #1016 
Toys for children at Second Chance Homeless Center

Compassionate Creations 
Project #1033 
Scarves for survivors of abuse

Las Cruces Knit Charm 
Project #1071 & #1072 
Washcloths or scarves for families in need
(Deadline for this project is October 2nd)

Hope you can join us for this month’s KAL/CAL!

Happy crafting!

~Sitinee

Gracious Gifts

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Thank you to all the wonderful crafters that have made so many of these beautiful gifts for projects all across the country.  To date, we have almost 1450 committed donations to 45 different projects.  We have crafters from 28 states and Canada.  I’m am speechless by the generosity and dedication of the crafting community.

Here are some beautiful gifts from crafters around the country.

Scarves for Random Acts of Kindness for Kids in the Appalachian Mountains by Mandy S. 2nd grade class

Scarves for Random Acts of Kindness for Kids in the Appalachian Mountains by Mandy S. 2nd grade class

Hats by Ravelry member nina6 for Halos of Hope

Hats by Ravelry member nina6 for Halos of Hope

Blanket Squares by Kim H for Orphanages in India and Africa

Blanket Squares by Kim H for Orphanages in India and Africa

Preemie hats by Lisa G. for the University of Chicago Hospitals

Preemie hats by Lisa G. for the University of Chicago Hospitals

 

 

 

Featured Crafter: Meet Cyndy

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Every couple weeks, we like to feature a crafter that has been a meaningful contributor to the Giving Artfully community.

This week, we would like to introduce you to Cyndy.  Cyndy has been a great contributor for Giving Artfully and has made over 100 beautiful items for EEROP, Kathleen’s Hats for Hope Initiative, Random Acts of Kindness for Kids, Outreach to Appalachia and Marine Kids Corps.

Thank you Cyndy for your time and dedication to these different organizations!  Your gifts are impacting many lives.

How long have you been crafting and what inspired you to start?                                               Cyndy_BlogPictureI started knitting about 6 years ago. My grandmother had knitted but I never took interest in it when I was a young child. After looking at some of the afghans that she had knitted, I became inspired to take a knitting class.

My youngest daughter was adopted from St Petersburg, Russia at the age of 11 months. She is now 15 years old and is also knitting scarves with me. I was especially thrilled to see that there was a Eastern European organization looking for scarves for the children in orphanages. Being so closely connected to this part of the world, I feel so happy that I am able to give something back.

Favorite type of crafting and some of my favorite projects?                                                                I love knitting with super chunky or chunky yarns and large needles. My favorite needles are bamboo and are size 35. I purchase much of my yarn from the etsy site. I love the handloomed yarns and especially those that have a wide variety of color and texture. My favorite projects are scarves and baby blankets. By using large needles and chunky yarn, the project finishes up very quickly. Although I have worked with lower gauge needles, I find that I prefer the almost instant gratification of completing a project in a day or two!

When and why did you start charity crafting?                                                      I have always volunteered for different organizations during my years as a stay at home mom…PTA, Girl Scouts, etc. I enjoy helping others and now that my daughters are older, I wanted to find something that I could contribute to. After all, you only need so many scarves living in Florida!  My search  for an organization that was looking for scarves led me to this site. I have received personal emails thanking me for my contribution from organizations such as Outreach Appalachia . That email has kept my inspiration to contribute going.

What is your favorite part of charity crafting?                                                     My favorite part of charity crafting is that I know that my items will be used and cherished by someone who is less fortunate than I. I especially enjoy knitting young children scarves in bright colors as I know that this may be the only new item that they may receive for the upcoming winter months.

Here are some pictures of Cyndy’s beautiful gifts:

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New Projects Posted on Giving Artfully

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7.8.13

We have several new projects posted on Giving Artfully.  Thank you again for all the amazing and dedicated crafters that has made this website possible.  We are over 1200 committed donations with crafters from over 20 states and Canada.  We recently also posted our first international project in Brisbane, Australia.  We are still working on updating our site with more functional features.

New projects:

#1067: Marine Kids Corps: Bibs & Burp Cloths for families of deployed servicemen

#1066: Outreach to Appalachia: lapghans for families in need in the Appalachian Mountains

#1065 & #1064: For the Children of Pine Ridge: mittens and scarves for children participating the Future Generations Ride

#1063: Bryan’s Blankets: blankets for survivors of abuse

#1062:  Knit-a-square: squares for AIDs orphans in South Africa

#1061:  Stitches from the Heart: hats for newborns

#1060: Knitting 4 Brisbane’s Needy: hats for Brisbane’s Needy

#1059: Precious Preemie Project: hats for preemies

#1058: Simi Valley Hospital: memory boxes for bereaved parents

Visit our website at www.givingartfully.com for over 50 projects that need handcrafted goods!

Happy crafting!

~Sitinee