How to Teach Your Child to Practice Gratitude
How to Raise Grateful Kids
The practice of gratitude allows you to show your appreciation for the blessings in your life, from people to things like your job and where you live. There are so many things to be grateful for, but many people lose sight of it, and instead focus on the negative.
Not only is it great for you to practice gratitude, but it can be wonderful for your children as well.
The Importance of Expressing Gratitude
Expressing gratitude is an amazing practice that everyone can benefit from, no matter their age. Yes, this includes your kids! Start by understanding the importance of gratitude, and teaching your kids why they should focus on being more grateful each and every day.
Appreciating what they have instead of what they don’t. The main basis for gratitude is focusing on the good in your life, instead of the bad. For kids, this is a powerful tool is not thinking about what they might not have that their friends do have, but appreciating all of their blessings. This is such an important practice that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Having a positive attitude. Being a more positive, optimistic person is wonderful for any kid to learn, but it isn’t always easy. It is so much easier to focus on the negative things in your life, regardless of your age. When your kids practice gratitude more often, it becomes a lot easier for them to be more positive every day.
Having better relationships and friendships. This also helps them build solid friendships and relationships throughout their young lives. When they appreciate their friends and family and are grateful for them, suddenly they feel more closely connected to them.
Daily Gratitude Practices
Now that you and your kids are aware of WHY they should practice more gratitude, here are some daily gratitude practices for them to start incorporating into their daily life:
1. Make a Gratitude List Each Evening
This can be done in a number of different ways. Have your child think of 3 or 4 things they are grateful for, every day. It can be a person they spent time with, an activity they did, something they appreciate about their life or family, etc. Give them a special gratitude journal to record their daily lists.
Another option is to have each family member share their daily gratitude lists with each other at the dinner table or bedtime.
2. Choose One Thing to be Grateful for Every Day
If coming up with a list every day seems too overwhelming, start simpler. There is no reason your kids need to come up with a super long gratitude list each day. Just have them pick one thing, person, or event that they are grateful for every day and write it down somewhere.
3. Use a Gratitude Jar
This is another way to write down one thing your kids are grateful for every day. You can have each child write something down on a sticky note or little piece of paper, fold it, and put it in a big mason jar. This also allows them to keep their gratitude lists anonymous if they prefer.
It can be a great family activity to periodically read the notes from the gratitude jar together.
Practicing gratitude is a healthy habit for people of all ages, so use these tips to help teach your kids how to be grateful on a daily basis. It's a valuable lesson that will payoff for many years to come.