Studies show that children who learn to count their blessings on a regular basis develop empathy toward others, have a better attitude about school and family, and experience greater satisfaction in life.
Gratitude is healthy for us. Cultivating gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25 percent. Studies have shown that children who practice an attitude of gratitude have higher self-esteem and higher levels of hope, empathy, and optimism.
Gratitude improves relationships. Making time to notice the little things and to show genuine appreciation to those around us strengthens our relationships and reminds us to not take them for granted.
Gratitude counteracts a sense of entitlement. What is the opposite of gratitude? Entitlement. Focusing on appreciation of others and a sense of caring can help buffer your child against a culture that often concentrates on “me” first and instant gratification. Gratitude is about being aware of who or what makes the opportunities, privileges, possessions, and other positive aspects of our lives possible.
It is never too early to begin teaching gratitude. In “Winnie the Pooh,” “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” The book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein might be a way to open a conversation about the “attitude of gratitude.” In the children’s book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” author Carol McCloud gives us an easy way to teach our children the power of affirming words and actions.
The best way to teach young children how to be grateful is by expressing your own gratitude openly and model thankfulness through your actions. Don’t miss an opportunity to model and teach kindness, gratitude and compassion.
There are many simple ways that you can begin to teach your children the “attitude of gratitude.” A few of my favorite activities are included below and be sure to explore additional ideas from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday ~ I am thankful for YOU! ♥
Have your child tell you something they are grateful for, write it down, and place it in the jar. Children can decorate the jar and/or use colorful paper. Another idea is to fill your jar with questions and conversation starters such as, "Who are you grateful for?" Visit source: "Cherish365" Blog
Decorate stones to give to family and friends to show appreciation, or place them in a jar when someone has been kind or helpful. At the end of the day or week, count them and talk about gratitude. Another idea is to place the stones throughout the house, and each time you find one, use it as a reminder to pause and think of something for which you are grateful.
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This activity is a great craft project for older children. You can also modify by making paper hearts. The purpose of this project is giving away as many hearts as possible. To give them away, notice something that another person has done, without being asked, that shows they care about you. Give them one of the hearts, thanking them for the thing they’ve done, and recognizing the reason why they’ve done it. Visit source: "Lasso the Moon" Blog