Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gratitude – 5 ways to encourage it and 6 reasons it rocks

Thanksgiving is on its way and gratitude is on our minds. Cultivating a sense of gratitude can be challenging, so today we’re offering five tips for instilling a sense of thankfulness and six reasons why expressing gratitude really rocks. We hope you enjoy the post and would be grateful if you’d share your thoughts and tips with us.

Five Ways to Encourage Gratitude:
1. Share something happy. My daughter and I have a ritual we borrowed from a sweet picture book called Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep. Each night as we’re snuggling under the covers, we take turns sharing good things about our day and good things we’re looking forward to. It’s a great way to end the night.

2. Aren’t you lucky? This is something my daughter hears – delivered with authentic enthusiasm – all the time. It’s not a guilt thing, but just a way to gently remind her about the things that are special in her life – whether a surprise outing or having a favorite food for dinner.

3. Focus on the positive. Finding the silver lining is a great practice for helping kids make the best of difficult circumstances and keep a positive outlook.

4. Expand the context. Broadening kids’ perspective through learning about how people live with less in other parts of the world, or volunteering to help those less fortunate is an impactful way to get kids actively involved.

5. Teach by example. Whenever you have the chance, express gratitude for the good things – big and small – in your life.

Six Reasons Gratitude Rocks
1. It says “I love you.” Telling your kids how grateful you are to have them in your life is a powerful way to express your affection.

2. It makes the world seem nicer. When you stop to consider all the good things in your life, even a bad day can suddenly take on a warm and fuzzy glow.

3. It encourages kindness. By highlighting the kindnesses that inspire our thanks, gratitude helps us understand what we can do to make others grateful.

4. It focuses on what’s important. Often, the things we’re grateful for are the things that really matter – family, friends, and time to spend with them.

5. It creates optimists. Practiced routinely, gratitude changes your whole outlook – putting you in a glass-half-full kind of mood.

6. It’s a two-way street. Finally, gratitude inspires gratitude. When one person is thankful, the person who inspired the gratitude also feels good about themselves. Even uninvolved bystanders benefit from the good karma.

How do you inspire gratitude in your kids?

This entry was written by Jamie Lee

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