Thanksgiving is the time of year we show gratitude and gratefulness. Teaching kids this life lesson is important for social and emotional well being. As a society we get caught up in what we are used to having and taking advantage of it. Let’s teach our children to be grateful and show gratitude everyday!
What is gratefulness? Letting other know by words and actions how they have benefited my life. It’s positive behavior, that encourages us to to flourish.
What is gratitude? The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Research shows that people who express and feel gratitude and gratefulness are more happy with their lives, have better relationships and better physical health.Gratitude is a positive feeling, it should not be a negative or forced upon. Having positive feelings makes kids more open to new ideas and new people, which helps kids to become more creative and more able to think of ways to overcome problems on their own. Positive feelings also help kids cope better with stress.
A few ways to encourage your kids to express gratitude and gratefulness:
Show gratitude yourself. Say “thank you” to your children, neighbors, teachers, family and friends. Your children learn from you. Hold the door open for somebody behind you. Be grateful for a sunny day, and express it out loud to your children.
Notice your kids being grateful. Sometimes we get used to kids doing things that they always do. Show appreciation, and let them notice you notice.
Sometimes we have to take time to slow down to be grateful. This is where yoga can be beneficial to you and your kids. Take a “time in” together and sit quietly. Close your eyes, notice your breathing and sit still for awhile with your child. Set a positive affirmation, “I am grateful”, breathe in the affirmation ,while sitting quietly and breathe out negative thoughts. Slowly open your eyes, look each other in the eyes, and see what happens. Welcome the emotions that may happen, and talk positively about them.
Teaching our children gratitude and gratefulness at an early age will encourage our children to be happy, aware, healthy and build self confidence for years to come.