13 Ways to Grow Gratitude

Amazing things can happen when we teach our kids how to express gratitude and share it with others.


1.    Choose language of optimism. Focus on gifts, blessings, and abundance rather than needs and entitlements.
2.    Ask for help. Even when it’s not “time prudent,” ask your kids to help with household tasks.
3.    Thank specifically. Let your child know exactly why you’re grateful. “Thank you for reading to Sammy this afternoon. He really loved snuggling with you.”
4.    Silence before meal. Take a few moments to think about the food and how it got to the table.
5.    Best of the day. At bedtime, ask your child to describe what was best about her day.
6.    Create a gratitude jar. Write (or draw) the things you’re grateful for, and collect them in a jar. Read them as a group each week.
7.    Make a collage. Use pictures, words, fabric, and small objects to represent the things you’re grateful for, and discuss as a family.
8.    Volunteer. Find organizations in your community with kid-friendly helping options.
9.    Pass it around. Sit in a circle. Each person says something they like about the person on the right.
10.    Random acts of kindness. At the drive-thru, pay for the meal of car behind you—and let your child in on the secret.
11.    Don’t overindulge. Resist the “Everyone has___!” and “I need it for ___!” arguments.
12.    Make them earn it. Extra chores and helping neighbors are great ways to make some pocket money.
13.    Turn it around. When faced with a challenge, find the silver lining by asking: “What did I learn from this?” “Is there something I can be grateful for?”

Author: Ashley Talmadge

Ashley Talmadge is a freelance writer and the mother of two tech-savvy boys.

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