Exploring gratitude means taking time to appreciate all of the positives in life; for example, being thankful for happy events, family members or personal belongings. Teaching children how to be grateful encourages a positive mind-set and helps children to feel happy and contented.
Here are some great tips from an Independent senior school in Berkshire, on how to explore gratitude with your child…
Make gratitude part of your family routine by sharing things you are grateful for each day. Dinner is an ideal time to discuss gratitude. You can highlight how grateful you are for your delicious meal and each share reasons to be thankful. For teenagers, you could introduce a ‘gratitude journal’ and encourage your child to write down daily positive reminders.
Remember to thank your children and others around you, and let them know how grateful you are for all that they do. If possible refrain from complaining in front of your children. This isn’t always easy when you’ve had a busy day, however the more you complain; the more likely it is that your children will copy your negative attitude. Instead, try to focus on the positives even when something bad happens.
Encourage your child to show appreciation for others – For example, at the end of term they could take a ‘thank you’ gift into school for their teacher or make a card for their best friend. Allow your child to choose or make the gift so that they are really engaged with its meaning. These thoughtful gestures will not only spread joy, but they will also help children to value who they have around them.
Finally, it is important to remember that children learn best through experience, so encourage them to help with jobs at home. For example, ask them to help you make dinner. When they experience the time and effort it takes to make a meal for the whole family, they are more likely to be grateful when you do it next time.