Pamelyn Rocco wants to remind us that no matter how busy life gets, we can still carve out moments to feel grateful.
“Instead of being annoyed at all of the driving that I have to do, we take it as a time to look outside at nature and be grateful,” she says about chauffeuring her girls between activities. “Tennessee is so beautiful right now, like the amount of colors coming off of these trees and plants, it’s just gorgeous.”
“We’ll see how many colors we can count of flowers getting from here to the soccer field.”
It’s just one of the ways Pamelyn taps into her surroundings to guide her family through the practice of gratitude without it feeling like a lesson or chore. She also published a children’s book, Gratitude the Great, to help parents and kids learn together.
“A deep soulful feeling of gratitude is what I’m trying to get out there,” she says, pointing out the difference between gratitude and good manners. “Gratitude is like a whole different beast.”
“Our job as parents is to model that behavior on a daily basis and that’s why I think rituals are so important.”
As a busy mom that stays up late to work while everyone’s asleep, Pamelyn spends her first waking moments making mental thank you notes.
“My eyes wake up and I just start with anything that comes to my head,” she says. “If there’s something special that’s about to happen that day I make sure I give gratitude for that and it just like starts me off on the right foot.”
Pamelyn uses the “gratitude train” to illustrate the interdependence of the meals we eat and gifts we receive—which we all have a new appreciation for after dealing with 18 months of strained supply chains.
“If you can backtrack and explain to your kids all of the different stages and people and effort that had to go into that one meal on your table, from the farmers, to the truck drivers, to the grocery store workers, to your mom and dad working so hard in making this beautiful meal—that makes children understand that we all depend on each other and that it’s not just about us,” she says.
Her new book highlights the tradition of giving Rea bracelets as a visual reminder and gift to the people we’re grateful for.
“I’m all about prompts because you’re so crazy during the day,” she says. “You can be sitting waiting for your doctor’s appointment, or waiting for your oil change or waiting in the car line at school and you just look down.”
Pamelyn and her daughters have been giving out Rea bracelets to first responders, frontline workers, cashiers and delivery drivers throughout the pandemic.
“Even through bad things that happen in life, COVID and all these things, it has really been the most amazing tool for me to use to get through the darkest days,” she says.
“You have space for thoughts, and thoughts are what drive gratitude.”