What a Wonderful World…
Gratitude brings abundance. When we are thankful for what we have, we are given more of what we are grateful for. Simple… but true. When we teach and model gratitude to our children it can help them find greater happiness in life. New research shows that children may be understanding what is important about gratitude based on their parents’ behaviors. These behavioral messages may in turn shape how children show gratitude.
Just saying “Thank You” is not always enough for children to gain a full understanding. Finding ways to help them more deeply notice what they have received is an important place to start. Helping them make sense of those gifts, through their thoughts and feelings, may be key to experiences of gratitude. Here are some questions you might ask your child:
What have you been given or what do you already have in your life for which you are grateful? Are there gifts behind the material gifts for which you are grateful, like someone thinking about you or caring about you enough to give you the gift?
Why do you think you received this gift? Do you think the gift was something the giver had to give you?
Does it make you feel happy to get this gift? These questions help the child connect their positive feeling to the gifts that they receive in their lives.
Is there a way you want to show how you feel about this gift? Does the feeling you have about this gift make you want to share that feeling by giving something to someone else?
Prompting children after experiences of gratitude to motivate acts of gratitude, whether they be acts of appreciation or paying it forward, may help children connect their experiences and actions in the world.
At Kidzone, we love to show our gratitude. Next time you are at the gym, post a note on our Gratitude Wall to share what you are thankful for.