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How to Encourage Gratitude

smileBenefits
Expressing gratitude has benefits for the kid expressing it, and not just for the receiver. Gratitude is a very powerful tool.

  • Higher levels of happiness and optimism.
  • Improved sleep.
  • Less stress and aggression.
  • Increased self esteem.
  • Improved resilience.

How to Teach
After age six children start to develop and refine their empathy skills. Some easy ways to practice gratitude.

  • Daily reflection: Everyone can share one thing they are grateful for at the dinner table each night.
  • Encourage your kids to help others in age appropriate ways.
  • Thanking people for the small things they do for us that make our days brighter.
  • If you are grateful for someone, write it down and put it into a jar, later read about it together. 
  • Celebrate kindness: Look for ways you can be kind together, not for any particular reason - just because.
  • Make small changes to our speech, instead of saying, “Sorry I’m late”, try, “Thanks for waiting."
  • Connecting over shared work, give kids age appropriate chores.
  • Parents should model gratitude, for example thank kids for cleaning their rooms.

Information from Mindful Little Minds