Thanks to Disney+, my family is getting all the nostalgic feels from some of our favorite old movies. My favorite that I just shared with my daughter is “Pollyanna.” Do you remember this one? Ahhh, I loved this movie so much growing up. It’s an oldie, but boy is it a goodie.
This statement may sound a little bold, but I’m gonna say it: I think it’s impossible to watch this movie and not feel encouraged. It’s just that good. Let me recap for you. The movie, based on the book “Pollyanna,” shares Pollyanna’s life after her missionary parents pass away and she is sent to live with her old, mean Aunt Polly. It’s no doubt a big life change and hard-to-deal-with situation, but the movie focuses on Pollyanna’s positivity even though she goes through rough times (like we all do!). A special part of the movie comes when she shares the Glad Game with her aunt and the entire town, and it transforms everyone.
So, what’s the Glad Game? Well, it was a game her missionary father created. Years before, the mission board sent him a letter asking what they could send to his little girl as a gift. Pollyanna really wanted a doll. When the package arrived just before Christmas, she was so excited to see her doll, but instead there was a pair of crutches inside. Talk about disappointment. Thinking quickly, her father made up the Glad Game. Any time something happens in life to bring you down, think of something you’re glad about. Pollyanna and her father decided they were glad they didn’t have to use the crutches. What a great perspective, right?
I know it’s not always easy to do this, but this mindset can be so wonderful for your kids — and for you. Just like Pollyanna saw what her dad did and copied him, our kids do the same to us. We’re always going to have frustrations and letdowns, but the Glad Game is a great way to share your thankfulness for all that we have instead. It helps make all those frustrations a little more tolerable.
Don’t get me wrong, a healthy dose of venting can be good for us all, but I think you might agree we all can take it too far sometimes. The Glad Game may sound a little crazy at first, but it is something small you can do to help retrain your brain from being a complainer to being more thankful. I’ve been trying to catch myself more, because “more is caught than taught” when it comes to our kids, right?
I’m going to try and be more like “Pollyanna” this month and moving forward. Try it with me. You’ve heard positivity is contagious, so pass it on! What are you glad about this month?