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Teaching Kids Gratitude

kids gratitude jarThanksgiving may be over, but giving thanks shouldn’t be.

Expressing appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness for the positives in your life is a great way to make yourself and others feel good.  Gratitude also provides a great bridge to building a growth mindset by finding something to be grateful for within any challenging experience.

The feelings generated by expressions of gratitude resonate at such a high energy level because they are the result of someone else’s thoughts or actions.

These expressions can be made in many forms:

  • Surprising a co-worker with their favorite coffee
  • Writing a short note to a friend
  • Saying “thank you” to your spouse
  • Texting the words “thank you” to your child

Although these small acts can make someone’s day, both as the giver and the receiver, they do take thought and a little effort and our fast paced lives often get in the way.

Teach your family how to create these powerful feelings by modeling simple expressions of gratitude. Show them the effect these actions can have on a person’s day, and before long it will become second nature for all of you.

It all begins with being able to recognize the positives, before you are able to express your appreciation for them.  Here are a few ideas to help get things rolling in your household.

Create a ‘Gratitude Board’

Hang a whiteboard or chalkboard in a common family area of your home. Title it ‘Gratitude List’, and leave colored markers or chalk nearby for your family members to write down people, places, and things they are grateful for. Start it off with a few of your own, and the rest of the family will follow suit.

Create a ‘Gratitude Jar’

This should be a large clear container so it is easy to see the contents. Create a slot in the lid, make it a family activity to decorate the jar with markers or paint, and leave it out in a common family area of your home so it is visible to everyone. Keep a small note pad next to the jar with a writing utensil, encourage your family to write down at least one thing they are grateful for on a daily basis, and watch the collection grow.

Be Grateful at the Table

Make it a nightly tradition for each person to name one thing they are grateful for and you will build a habit of recognizing the positives.

Gratitude in the Car

The car is one of the few opportunities when you have your child’s undivided attention.  Positive reinforcement is the best way to get an appreciated action repeated so take advantage. Use this time to express gratitude for your child’s positive behavior.

Looking for more ideas?
Teaching kids gratitude instead of entitlement.
Teaching teens gratitude.

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Toll Free 1-855-8 BROCKS

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Woodinville, WA 98072
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