At KCCC we strive to implement gratitude into our everyday routines. An attitude of gratitude is a positive way of looking at life. Gratitude can increase our children’s happiness, teach them to be more empathetic and help them to be more thankful for everything they have. Below are some ways and ideas to help teach your child the concept of gratitude on a daily basis.
Say please and thank you
Our manners show that we do not believe we are entitled to anything, and that in fact, we appreciate whatever comes our way.
Help someone less fortunate
This could be your neighbor down the street, grandma, or someone you know who is in a tough spot.
Help out at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen or non-profit.
Send out thank you cards
Express your gratitude for those who have added value to your life.
Look for awe-inspiring moments in your day
If the sunset is particularly beautiful, comment on it. If the sound of the baby’s laughter warms your heart, tell your children. Encourage them to look for their awe-inspiring moments and share them with you.
Share your gratitude at bedtime
Take five minutes at the end of the day to ask your child what he is thankful for that day.
Share your gratitude at the dinner table
Take a moment at dinner time to share what you are thankful for. Go around the table, allowing each family member a chance to vocalize their gratitude.
Encourage your children to do the same. Share the things you appreciate about another person.
Keep a gratitude journal
This can be in any form that works best for your child’s age, skill level and desire. Some kids will want to spend time writing their thoughts down. Others may be more apt to express their gratitude through drawing or painting.
Write a letter
Encourage your child to write a letter to someone who has touched his life in some way. If he is comfortable, make a visit to that person to read the letter out loud. If not, mail it.
Create a family gratitude list
Post it on the fridge. Add to it when necessary.
Create a family gratitude journal
Leave it somewhere where everyone can access it and encourage your family to write in it whenever they are feeling grateful.
Give someone a gift
Help your child earn the money and purchase the gift. Or make a gift together.
Always look for the positive
Find something positive in frustrating situations and discuss it.
Practice turning complaints in to praises
Coach your children to reword their complaint in to something that they appreciate instead.
Create a gratitude jar
Encourage your kids to add to it anytime they are feeling grateful for something or someone.
Donate to a nonprofit
Nonprofits serve people in need and at this time of the year they are always looking for basic necessities, meals and gifts to give to those in need.
Take gratitude walks
While you walk, look for the simple pleasures in the day, such as the warm sun or the birds singing and express appreciation for them. Use this time to ask your kids what they are grateful for.
As your child gets better at expressing gratitude, dig deeper. Ask why he is grateful for something and how it affects his day.
Work through envy
Help your child work through any feelings of jealousy she may have. Envy can come when we are not feeling thankful for what we have, and are focusing instead on what others have.