Gratitude is a powerful habit and one that is particularly beneficial for children. Gratitude helps kids feel happier and wiser, kinder, and more optimistic about their future. Gratitude sharpens memory; it reminds us of the good things in life. We all know that gratitude positively affects our mental health and personal fulfillment. But what if you don’t see those benefits? What if you can’t even remember the last time you felt grateful? Giving thanks takes conscious effort. It doesn’t just happen naturally – not when the world around us seems chaotic and filled with suffering. However, there are practical ways to practice gratitude in your family that will help you build an attitude of gratefulness as a secondary character trait in your child(-ren).
Talk about what you’re grateful for
At any age, kids benefit from hearing the language of gratitude. You don’t need a special occasion to start a conversation about what you’re grateful for. It’s during the ordinary things of life that gratitude is most applicable. If your child wants to know what you’re grateful for, encourage them to ask questions. This is a great way to open up the discussion of gratitude with the younger set. What are some practical ways to bring gratitude into the conversation?
- Go on a gratitude hunt. You can start to notice the things you should be grateful for but might not be aware of. Start your gratitude hunt with something small and build up from there. For example, if you’re walking your dog, see if you can spot five things you’re grateful for while out on the walk.
- Don’t wait until the end of the month. Many people make the mistake of saving their gratitude for the end of a month. Instead of waiting for the beginning of each month, how about you start to look for opportunities to be grateful every day? This will help you get into the habit of being thankful, and you’ll see that it’s easy to do.
Strong relationships are based on gratitude. The more you feel thankful for what you have in your life, the less room there is for resentment and bitterness. Practicing gratitude is about being more thoughtful, appreciative, and intentional about life. Gratitude is a gift you give yourself and the people in your life. The benefits of gratitude extend beyond the individual. Strong communities are built on gratitude. Healthy families are built on gratitude. If you’re feeling blue or discontent, it might be time to shift your focus to what you have to be grateful for. The benefits of gratitude are endless and available to all. When you practice gratitude, you go your mindset to a more positive one. You’ll start to find more joy in life and feel better overall. Gratitude is a great place to start if you want to lead a happier life. And it’s a habit that can be cultivated and strengthened over time. With practice, gratitude will become a part of your daily life, and you’ll start seeing its many benefits.