OK--I'm officially announcing that my family has been on the three good things track for a while now. Amy does blog posts, LB too, and Jen has talked about how much she likes the the idea along with a great description. More people jump on the bandwagon.
I first read about it after signing up for Jean Maroney's free Thinking Directions newsletter over a year ago. The newsletter is a gem of interesting books, ideas, and techniques. Jean Maroney talked about one of the techniques Martin Seligman presents. Martin Seligman wrote Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness. Once each 24 hours, take a small amount of time to journal three good things that happened. The technique is summarized here
I liked the idea, and thought it might work for the whole family. Hanover has a tendency to be a bit gloomy. I don't really know why. It could be that she listened to my husband and I talk about work a bit too much during the time when I decided to quit. She's got some ears on her. She can hear an adult conversation that has nothing to do with her from 50 paces. I didn't quit just because I wanted to spend more time with my kids--work went downhill at the same time. I thought this technique could help her have a more balanced perspective. Seligman also has a book about raising optimistic and resilient children. Hubby can also be a bit of a gloom-and-doomer. We needed a family pick-up!
So we use this technique at dinner. Everyone picks three (or more!) good things about the day. It's a great way to redirect my hubby when discussing his day in the office is heading into rant-land. Which I don't mind myself, but Hanover thinks those particularly bad events are daddy's whole work-life. Hubby thinks it's a bit silly (but he thinks anything 'soft', like catering to emotions, is not worthy), but goes along with it because he knows the kids and I like it. The kids enjoy picking their 'good things' a lot and we recently began including the Filthy Little Monkey. Of course, being 13 months he doesn't get to pick. Each of us picks something for him. We do it so regularly now that the kids remind me when we miss it.
It has been a lot of fun. The kids are always in a good mood by the time dinner is over. They want to remember everything they liked about the day.