Years ago we were a married couple with no kids in the mix yet. Whenever we would spend time with Sam's sister and our little nephew we would hear them talk about having a "happy heart". I'll be honest, at the time I thought it sounded silly, now my views have changed. The importance of the attitude of our hearts has set in and "happy hearts" is now one of the things that we hope for as we parent our kids.
We use it everyday at home.
In fact, our daughter's school teacher told me that they have even been incorporating it into their class as well. I guess good things spread fast!
We use it as positive reinforcement pointing out when our kids are having a "happy heart" or as a reminder by saying, "let's all have a happy heart!" Or, sometimes when someone is grumpy, we might say, "Are you having a happy heart?"
And then there are those moments when daddy asks mommy, "Are you having a happy heart?" I just smile through clenched teeth and remind myself that mommy needs to have a happy heart too.
The truth is that the kids get it and it has become the easiest way to get at the heart of the matter. By always reminding them that the most important thing is not how we act, or what we don't do, but about the attitudes that we live our lives with...even if sometimes that means choosing to have a happy heart.