Can we all just agree that kids are amazing and adaptable and deserve a whole lotta praise after going through the past year and a bit?! The pandemic has certainly taken its toll on everyone and I am so relieved to see that there is an end in sight. As our daughter starts wrapping up her first year of school, I have been thinking about how gratitude can impact not only us, but also our kiddos! The topic certainly comes up a lot in our home as it is the essence in everything we do, but sometimes we fall short at making sure our kiddos follow suit.
It’s amazing to see that even though we may not discuss the importance of gratitude, we still notice that our kids are great at showing it.
So, how to teach your child gratitude?
Like most skills that you want to pass onto your kiddos, model it! How can you start practicing gratitude? Here are some easy steps!
Notice – What do you have in your life to be grateful for? Talk about them out loud, often!
Feel – Take a minute and sit in a space of gratitude, truly feel it. Doing this will change your state, your kiddos will notice a difference for sure!
Do! – What are ways you can show gratitude in front of your kids? There are obvious things like saying ‘thank you’ but there are a lot of other ways like - random acts of kindness, going out of your way to show appreciation... handmade gifts... etc. Expressing gratitude to your children AND to other people are perfect ways to lead by example.
We have created a handful of products, and gratitude activities for kids, that can help harness positive feelings.
Aromatherapy bracelets for kids are a great tool to use to help support their emotions which creates a beautiful domino effect in the way they communicate with others.
Love Notes for Your Littles are a great tool for YOU to use when wanting to offer words of love and encouragement. These cards can be put in lunches, backpacks, under pillows or hidden in books! *This item is only available in our Southcentre Mall store at the moment.
Our Gratitude Journal for Kids is a great way to practice gratitude with your child. The journal guides them to think about the things that make them happier. And, as science shows, doing so makes accessing those happy feelings easier and easier each time they do it!
We created a Free Gratitude BINGO game that you can download. Spread the love and make it fun! This is a great family gratitude exercise. Simply print the PDF, hang it up on your fridge and anytime a family member completes a square - mark it off!
Another favourite gratitude tool we like to promote is gemstones or even just a river rock! Giving your kid an intentional tool to use when they need some emotional assistance is a great way to grow their confidence. They can keep it in their pocket and simply rub it or hold it in their hand anytime they need to relax or feel protected.
Regardless of what physical items you use to better encourage your kids to practice gratitude, the most important thing is that they feel grateful. That starts with feeling appreciated by the ones they love, so if you haven’t done so today, give your kiddo a squeeze!
Tell them you love them and that you are so proud of the work they had to do to get through this school year. Even it was messy and hard, they made it… and hey, so did you.