According to research by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, “People who practice gratitude feel considerably happier (25%) than those in a control group; they are more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, and determined.”
An attitude of gratitude helps us thrive. Here are some ideas to help instill a mind-set of gratitude in your little ones.
Be an example! Do you say Thank You to your child often? Many times as parents and teachers we get caught up giving out instructions that we forget to express our appreciation for cooperation. Children learn by example and if they catch us constantly saying these 2 words and genuinely being grateful, they are more likely to adopt this habit as well.
Make it fun. Join your child while they are playing with dolls or stuffed animals and help them to teach the toys to be polite and thankful. Have them draw pictures of their favorite things. Find games books and movies that encourage being thankful.
Start a conversation. Ask your child often what they are grateful for. You can incorporate this to your daily routine by talking every night at dinnertime or bedtime. Take the time to share the things that you are grateful for as well!
Donate unused toys or clothes to those in need. It’s important to realize that though we may not have all we want in this life there are always others that have less than we do. How often do we take all that we have for granted?
Take a trip to the homeless shelter as a family and donate your time to help others that may not be as lucky as you.
Be patient. Kids won’t be tricked into showing appreciation but with your consistent example and daily efforts an attitude of gratitude will be incorporated into your daily life!
-Kylie Garner (Bravo Employee)