Gratitude is a word we are all familiar with, but how often do we intentionally practice it? In today’s day and age, we sometimes take things for granted, whether that be running water, a roof over our heads, or even food on the table. Teaching our children to be grateful is important because they learn to appreciate people and experiences. Some would even argue that practicing gratitude can improve moods and behavior. Here are three ways we can practice gratitude with children and with ourselves.
1) Make a Gratitude List.
Don’t just write down: “I’m thankful for my dog.” Instead, write down why: “I’m thankful for my dog because he greets me with a smile when I get home every day.” When you take a step further, you are being intentional with gratitude and actively thinking about why you are grateful.
2) Ask your kiddos what they are grateful for on the way to school.
Car ride conversations can be difficult, whether your kiddos aren’t morning people or fall asleep on the way home from school after a long day. Making a conversation about gratitude is a great way to share your gratitude with your kiddos. As we all know, they are sponges and sharing your gratitude with them will help them soak up your wisdom.
3) Go out of your way to tell someone how much you appreciate them.
Send Grandma some flowers with a note that says, “I really enjoyed making cookies with you” or write a note to your teacher that says “Thank you for spending the extra time with me on my math homework so I would understand it better.” Those little notes not only help you practice being intentional but they also brighten someone else’s say.
These three steps will help fan the flame of gratitude in your children and in you. Practicing gratitude with our children is a gift because their perspective on the world can teach us something every day.
At Episcopal School of Knoxville, faculty members work with students on a daily basis to furnish opportunities for kids to learn appropriate research strategies, to share their opinions through writing or presentational speaking, and to allow for respectful conversation directed by our Tribes character agreements. If you are interested in learning more about our school, in going on a private tour, or in visiting a class, please contact Admissions Director Corinne Mattern at [email protected] or (865) 777-9032.