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The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?

Mar 11, 2019

Today my friend Megan shared a post about the power of not complaining. In my experience, complaining is a typical character trait of those people who always see the glass half empty and naturally tend to be negative and pessimistic: I know because that used to be 100% me a few years ago. In the last 10 years, though, I worked very hard to change this trait of my personality and today, unless you know me very well, you’d never even think that negativity and pessimism are something I struggle with.

This is why I’m very aware of complaining and 1. I don’t like people who complain about everything, so much I tend to distance myself from them and 2. I know I still have a tendency to complain at home.

This morning, Alex “slammed” the kitchen cupboard five times. At the fifth time, I complained, and he explained that he did it out of habit because in the previous apartment the cupboards had a resistance that allowed for a little push when closing them. It’s true. There was no need to complain.

SO I decidedI could do with a little challenge for myself: starting today, for a WHOLE month, I won’t be complaining AT ALL.

Here’s what I’m going to do, instead. When I feel like complaining about something—people’s behavior, kids’ behavior (deserves its own category), things that bother me, uncomfortable situations—instead I will:

Focus on the reason why something might be happening the way it is, “Maybe it’s because…”. In this morning scenario, I could have easily realized that there was a reason behind my husband’s behavior, as he doesn’t usually slams cupboards. Understanding the why behind behaviors and situations develops a more flexible, tolerant and accepting mind.

Think of a constructive alternative “It might be better if they/you did like this”. In this morning scenario, I could have said, “These cupboards are tricky, arent’ they? I noticed that you need to accompany them, otherwise they slam”. Sometimes suggesting alternatives might sound like preaching, but it’s all about the words you pick and the tone you use: it might be useful preparing in your mind a couple of kind sentences.

Find something positive and say that instead. Also not saying anything is an option, but that’s not really me! ;-) This is hard, and in this morning scenario I would have not come up with anything positive on the spot. In retrospect, though, as he was slamming the cupboard where you put dishes to dry up, I could have said jokingly, “Well, at least I know when you’re doing the dishes!”. In my experience, finding something positive and being able to joke about situation that we dislike is a great way to wire our mind to think more positive.

And when you catch yourself complaining, you can immediately fix it, “Ugh, it’s so hot today! I’m not complaining, though, it’s nice to be able to wear lighter clothes!”.

Why giving yourself a one-month challenge? In my experience, you can create any habit in one month, and I find that having a time frame motivates me to follow through with it.

I’m starting today, why don’t you join me?

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
Mi chiedete spessissimo quale sia la nostra routine a casa con i bimbi e in questo episodio vi svelo che noi, una routine vera e propria, non ce l'abbiamo. Abbiamo una routine minima e indispensabile, che è un concetto che mi sono totalmente inventata su due piedi mentre parlavo a briglia sciolta in questo episodio, ma che credo funzioni davvero. Almeno per noi. La routine minima e indispensabile, secondo me, risponde anche a un altro "problema": trovo che ci bombardino spesso con l'idea del...
11
Oct 9, 2020 • 24m
Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
10
Oct 2, 2020 • 24m
Intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
9

Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.