For children, gratitude allows you to form friendships, improves their mental wellbeing and gives them the chance to explore new ways to express empathy, being open towards others and more.
Children will learn how to be grateful in a number of ways by following what their parents do and what they’ll learn from others, but it’s key that you see this in action and help your child build on their key skills.
Here are some ways to encourage your child to be more grateful, from a prep school in Milton Keynes.
Make a happiness jar
A jar full of little things that you’re grateful for can give your child something to look forward to looking through when the time is right. Tell your child to add to it when they’re feeling like they’re done something meaningful towards someone else, like helping with a friend with their homework or helping them if they’re feeling upset. These little things can then be looked at together when you feel the time is right, and make a big fuss about it!
Ask your child what they’re thankful for
Whether it’s once a night or once a week, let your child think about what made them especially proud of themselves that week, or something that they feel very thankful for. It’s a way of allowing your child to think about what’s important to them and what they will work towards in the future.
Mindfulness is a great way of connecting with your mind to reflect on what you’ve achieved and combating negative thoughts. It’s a process that, with children, can take a few attempts to fully achieve, but it allows your child to think outside the box about how their days go and what they feel happy about.
Without asking them to say what they think aloud, allow them to open their mind slowly with long deep breaths, time away from tempting devices and other distractions to allow them to think for themselves what they feel grateful for. They may be more open, honest and positive-feeling towards you as a result.