Gratitude is one of the healthiest practices and emotions we can experience.
When we have a general appreciation for the good things we have in our lives, we are better able to look at situations from a positive perspective. This helps build our resilience and sense of self worth. Gratitude helps us build stronger relationships* and lead happier, more satisfied lives.
Teaching Gratitude to Kids
The USC at Chapel Hill completed a study called Raising Grateful Children, looking at the skills and impacts of teaching gratitude to children. They found that gratitude has four parts, and that asking questions that encourage all four of these parts fosters a deeper experience of gratitude.
|Identify the things you are grateful for in your everyday lives. They may be little things around us or something some has done for us.|
|Think about why we have received these things. Who is the person who may have done something nice for us, and did they need to do that?|
|How do these things make us feel? What emotions do we experience? What is it about the gift that makes you feel this way?|
|Show appreciation in action. How do you want to show how you feel about this gift? You could return the favour, write a note, or pay it forward.|
If you want to undertake the Raising Grateful Children online program yourself, access the link here.
Pat is Grateful
We asked Pat the Platypus 5 things he was grateful for today and here is what he said:
☀ I am grateful for the cool stream outside my home
☀ I am grateful for my webbed feet helping me swim faster
☀ I am thankful for my friend Kelly, who let me borrow their towel today
☀ I appreciate my neighbour, who noticed I was getting faster
☀ I am grateful for my comfortable, warm bed
The best way to encourage the practice of Gratitude in children, is by modelling the behaviour yourself! Children learn from us, and seeing their caregivers outwardly acknowledging and showing appreciation shows them that it is a positive attitude and behaviour.
Use our printable Gratitude Leaf activity sheet to get your child starting in thinking about the things around them they are grateful for.