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Suggestions on how to raise grateful kids:
I’ve talked before about how gratitude can help families in sports: “Let Gratitude Carry You through the Competition Season.” Of course, gratitude isn’t just for sports families … an attitude of gratitude can help any kids and any family.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Maya Angelou
“Jack Canfield – How Gratitude Changed This Multi-Millionaire’s Life.” The beginning of this video is a truly inspiring story of the power of gratitude. The story is thought-provoking for both kids and adults.
Ann Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, wrote a great post called “When You’re Tired of Kids Complaining: 15 Ways to Happier, Grateful Kids.”
She cites research that shows how kids benefit from an attitude of gratitude:
- Better attitudes
- More likely to achieve personal goals
- Closer relationships and greater happiness
- Better grades
- Greater energy, attentiveness, and enthusiasm
- Greater sensitivity to situations where they can be helpful and compassionate
Some of my favorite suggestions for raising grateful kids from Ann Voskamp:
- Sing around the table.
- Keep a daily gratitude journal or fill out the “7 Gifts” page. (In the post, there’s a link to a free printable with spaces for 7 gifts each day. There’s also an awesome daily Joy Dare printable)
- Write thank-you notes. Have a basket of thank-you notes left out as an invitation to give thanks.
- Have your child put a sticky note on a mirror or window telling what he or she is grateful for right now.
- Have a No Complaining Day.
Be sure to read Ann Voskamp’s post to get all the details and free printables.
Here’s a helpful YouTube video of an interview with Dr. Christine Carter from the Greater Good Science Center on changing your kids’ attitude with gratitude.
Some of my favorite points from the video “Change Your Kids’ Attitude With Gratitude”:
Happiness is in many respects a skill that parents can teach their children, and the relationship between gratitude and happiness is really strong. – Greater Good Science Center’s Dr. Christine Carter
Christine Carter talks about giving kids a lens through gratitude glasses. She recommends practicing gratitude daily or even once a week through activities such as the following:
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Keep a family gratitude list (post it on the refrigerator).
- Go around the table and have each person say something they’re grateful for.
- When you put your kids to bed, have them tell you three good things that happened to them or that they did during the day.
- Write gratitude letters (letters to someone who has done something for your child that has gone unthanked).
Christine Carter says that people who practice gratitude become more helpful and feel happier, stronger, more energized, and more determined.
Links to other ideas that can help your kids have an attitude of gratitude.
Just choose whichever gratitude activities work best for your family.
- Montessori Gratitude Jar
- The Blessing Jar from I Can Teach My Child
- Gratitude Board from Make a Vision Board
- Gratitude Tree at Blissful Kids and Gracious Rain
Gratitude Word-Art Freebie (without watermark)
I have many more posts about gratitude.
Do you have a favorite way to help your kids have an attitude of gratitude?
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