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Gratitude with Children

It’s that time of year when everyone wants to know what you’re thankful for – whether you’re a kid or an adult, it can start to feel a little pressuring. Kids will often go for what they can see: my Dad, my toys, chocolate chip cookies. But with a few simple prompts, we can help them (and ourselves) find a deeper gratitude.

It doesn’t have to feel like homework! As you’re walking around, take notice of what’s happening around you. If you live in Florida, you might say, “Isn’t it nice that we can wear shorts in December? Grandma and Grandpa are all bundled up at their house in Missouri. I’m thankful we live here and can visit them when we want to!” Or even something as simple as, “I love holding your hand when we walk down the sidewalk. I’m thankful for how it makes my heart happy.”

Once you’ve shown how easy it is to find the gratitude in whatever you’re doing, ask your kids- “It seems like you had a lot of fun with your friend today. What’s something they do that makes you thankful for them?” Or something like, “Wow, that assignment was hard, but your tutor really showed you how to make it fun. I’m thankful for her, aren’t you?” Then you can start making it a game! “Quick, you have 3 seconds to tell me something you’re thankful for that’s not in this room!”

Research has shown that expressing gratitude is not only good for us, but it makes us feel good too! What’s your favorite way to show gratitude? Do you like to write thank you notes or give hugs? Let us know!

Originally posted on on November 27th, 2022

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