Simple daily practices to teach Gratitude to kids
Did you know that a simple act of gratitude can have a significant impact on our well-being and even improve our psychological health?
Thankfulness entails more than simply saying “Thank you” more often. With the celebration of Thanksgiving all around the world, this seems to be a perfect start to incorporate the practice of gratitude in your family’s daily life. And nothing better than starting with your little ones. Surely your kids are going to thank you for this for the rest of their lives.
“ Through the eyes of gratitude everything is a miracle.” - Mary Davis
Brushing teeth and bathing are necessary morning rituals. Similarly, what if adding a one-minute ritual before the child rushes to school can increase the positive energy of the day tenfold? Yes!! A grateful morning could have this kind of power. Continue reading to find out how.
Simple steps on how to execute this-
- Take an empty jar.
- Cut 30 leaves from colorful papers.
- Everyday take a paper leaf and ask your kid to write about one thing they would like to say thanks to.
- Help them in expressing gratitude to non living things like a brush, towel, school etc.
- Or it can be gratitude to their parents, cook, teachers, bus driver etc.
- At the end of every month, ask your child to empty the jar and stick the paper leaves on another paper with a tree outline.
- This will help them create a gratitude tree every month while learning the importance of being thankful to people and things around them.
Kids from a very early age start engaging in different hobbies and co-curricular activities along with their academics. It’s always such a tiring day for them that afternoon naps also become very rare. But we have some ways for you to engage with your child and make them feel relaxed and their hearts full of gratitude, especially on holiday afternoons.
- Watch movies that evoke gratitude e.g 1) A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving- age 4+ 2) Encanto - age 6+ 3) Up - age 6+ 4) It's a wonderful Life - age 9+
- Read inspiring books that encourage mindfulness e.g 1) Mindfulness with Moksha by Ira Trivedi 2) Meditation is an Open Sky by Whitney Stewart 3) A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh 4) Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
- Make art together to thank the numerous helpers around you like security guards, garbage collectors etc.
- Donate outgrown clothes and toys to children in need.
- Decorate kindness cards to distribute around you.
- Visit an assisted living home and ask the residents about their lives.
There are many little things which may look little but have a large impact in the long run of life. More than starting the day with positive thoughts, more important is to sleep with positive thoughts. The thought, idea or plan with which the children sleep helps in shaping their next morning. So what can be done to imbibe positivity at night? We are glad that you asked, because the answer to your question is GLAD.
How to do it?
Ask your child what they are GLAD about?
This is a wonderful practice which helps in reflecting the goods in your kids day. Incorporate this ritual in your child’s bedtime routine or dinner table as a family. You should also participate and gain fruitful results out of the practice. Take turns and either speak out or write down answers of the following:
What is one thing I am grateful for on this day?
What is one thing I learned today?
What is one thing I accomplished today?
What is one thing that made me smile, laugh or brought joy?
You can later on go through your GLAD list and experience the beauty of your mindful journey. Remember that kids might take time to open up and answer all the questions. Hence do not push them and simply enjoy this slow process.