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Teaching Children the Value of Gratitude

November 4, 2020

Thanksgiving Day is much more than a great meal and watching football—it is a day for us to feel truly grateful for all that we have in our lives. The benefits of gratitude are numerous for everyone. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, appreciate good experiences, improve physical and mental health, enhance sleep quality, and build strong relationships. For adults, the concept of gratitude is an easy one to understand, but for children, it may take a bit more effort.

Children take their cues from the adults in their lives, so the best way to teach children about gratitude is to model gratitude by letting your children see and hear you experience it. Thank your children often and encourage them to say “thank you” on a regular basis. Make a point to share with your children the things you are grateful for. If you have a bad day, point out that there’s still so much to be grateful for—look for the silver lining. Help children see that something good can come from a difficult circumstance.

Let your children see you write “thank you” notes or send a token of appreciation to someone.

The Raising Grateful Children Project at UNC Chapel Hill has shown that gratitude has four parts:

  1. Noticing—Recognizing the things you have to be grateful for.
  2. Thinking—Thinking about why you’ve been given those things.
  3. Feeling—The emotions you experience as a result of the things you’ve been given.
  4. Doing—The way you express appreciation.

Have your children help you gather clothes and toys they have outgrown and donate them to families and children who have less. Involve your children in the process by researching donation centers or charities and let your children choose which one. Donating helps children understand how fortunate they are and everything they have to be grateful for.

Make gratitude a priority in your home. Not only will your children benefit, but the adults will too!

Contact our Admissions team today to find out how Columbia Academy can be the right fit for your family. 410-312-5233.