Thanksgiving’s a time for reconnecting with family, feasting, and what’s this? It’s gratitude! There really is something special about gratitude, and when it comes to our kids, it has unbelievable benefits for them early on. Jump on the gratitude train with us. Learning to be thankful, putting it into practice, and knowing why it’s important for our kids can help us keep gratitude as a tradition that goes on and on.
We’re Thankful and Grateful! Why is Gratitude Important for Kids?
What’s absolutely amazing about gratitude is that it is easy to practice, and it comes with big rewards for overall well-being. Kids and adults alike can thrive with a grateful heart and mind. When we approach life and even challenges with a grateful mindset, we are more likely to make better choices and behave in positive ways. Additionally, gratitude counters holiday greed and can combat depression and anxiety. It unlocks the door to other positive emotions, making us enjoy life more and create stronger bonds with those around us. It’s never too late to begin a gratitude practice, so we’ll let you in on a few things to give a try.
Some of the best things in life happen as a family. Gratitude practice can easily be done together, and it doesn’t need to take up a lot of time either. This way, the entire clan can put their thankful skills to the test.
1 Keep a Family Gratitude Jar
All you need is a mason jar, a pen, and some paper. Have family members fill up that jar by the end of the week or month, depending on the size of the jar. Every time you think of something that you’re grateful for, write it down and pop it into the jar.
2 Exchange Thank You Notes
Write on sticky notes or notecards. Once you and your kiddo have written a thank you message, deliver it to someone in the family or to someone outside of the family. Set a quota for how many times a week or month that you want to deliver a message. With every message, your little one will see how much their gratitude can make another person happy. Everyone loves a sincere thank you!
3 Thankful Tree
Oh, Christmas tree! But, what about a Thankful tree for Thanksgiving? You and your kiddo can design ornaments in a way that shares something that you all are thankful for. Making use of a small Christmas tree as your Thankful tree is a great option, but feel free to get creative. Here are some other Thankful tree ideas too if you’re looking for some inspiration. Your Thankful tree will be a fun decoration to show off when it comes time to feast with loved ones.
4 Gratitude Board
Place a dry-erase board on the fridge or somewhere else accessible in the home. Make it everyone’s mission to add something to the board every day. When it’s full, come together as a family and read the input. Erase and repeat! This gratitude activity is excellent for families looking to practice daily.
5 Thankful Thursday
Take advantage of Thankful Thursday. Maybe daily gratitude isn’t for your family, so taking time once a week to reflect is very manageable for most. You can try any of these gratitude activities on a Thursday with the family. Just be sure to be consistent!
6 Be a Role Model
Your little one is watching your every move. If you use gratitude language daily, your child will pick up on it. Remember to sincerely say thank you often and go out of your way to express gratitude to another person. The key to gratitude is consistency, so be thinking about ways to spread your grateful cheer!
Go on a Gratitude Solo Mission
While it can be fun to practice gratitude as a family, it’s perfectly okay to do so by yourself. Encourage your little one to seek out ways to find gratitude in their daily lives too. One way to encourage them is to purchase a daily gratitude journal for them. You can find journals specifically designed for thankful practices. These journals can be super fun to follow along to and are great ways to unwind before going to bed. A simple notebook will work just as well though. Whatever way your child chooses, you’ll find that this beautiful kind of mindset helps them flourish.
Our gratitude extends to all of our wonderful patients and their families. They always know how to make us smile. If your child needs a great team to lend a hand, contact us today!