The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Benefits of Gratitude
A few months ago, I did some research on the benefits of gratitude. Gratitude
- reduces a multitude of negative emotions and in general, makes us happier.
- improves pro-social behaviors.
- enhances our relationships with others and ourselves.
- helps us attain our goals.
- increases our mental strength and makes us more resilient during crises.
- makes us take better care of ourselves and may be associated with better physical health.
Find a list of the references and research for this information here.
When you think about all of these potential benefits, doesn't it make you realize how important this skill is and that it should be encouraged and taught to our kids as early as possible?
Simple Way to Practice Gratitude
My sons and I recently created a gratitude jar. Each day, everyone in our family thinks of one thing we are grateful for. We each write (or draw) about something that is meaningful, powerful, positive, or that makes us happy. I can tell you from experience that it really does help us look for and notice the positives in our lives!
Young kids tend to show their gratitude for objects and/or people in their lives (which is age-appropriate), but to encourage my kids to think beyond the obvious tangibles in their lives, I use the following Gratitude Prompts. Focus on a new prompt each day: You may find you learn a lot about each other!
- Who are you grateful for and why?
- What activities bring you the most joy and why?
- What is something you think is beautiful?
- What is something hard for you but you try it anyway?
- What is your favorite family activity and why?
- What is something kind someone did for you? How could you thank them?
- What do you love about one or more of your friends and why? How can you show them?
- What is something you are grateful for about your brother/sister?
- What do you like about where you live?
- What do you love about your parents
- What do you love most about yourself?
- What smell are you grateful for?
- What technology are you grateful for and why?
- What sounds are you most grateful for and why?
- What in nature are you grateful for?
- What food are you grateful for?
- What items are you most grateful for and why?
- What happened today that you are grateful for?
- What talent or skill do you have that you are grateful for?
- What family member are you most grateful for?
- What place are you most grateful for?
- What kindness can you or did you do today?
- What memory is your favorite memory?
- What outdoor activity are you grateful for?
- What indoor activity are you grateful for?
- What color do you love most and why?
- What are you looking most forward to in the future?
- What place makes you happy and why?
- What people in our community are you most grateful for (besides friends and family)?
Our Gratitude Jar:
Gratitude Jar Free Printables!
In order to help you form this practice, I have created some gratitude jar printable tags and cards that you are welcome to use at home to create your own Gratitude Jars. Click on the photo below to access your pdf file and enjoy!
For Father's Day:
Yes, Father's Day is this coming weekend, and my boys and I are also focusing on how to show gratitude for all of the amazing dads in our lives. This year, we are making a Gratitude Jar for Dad, filled with cards describing all of the things that make us grateful for him!!