I found this article online and wanted to share it with the Memorial school family as we enter the season of Thanksgiving.
Edited by Flickety, Teresa, Jmuddy95, Smartie290 and 1 other
Happiness is a skill that parents can teach their children and the relationship between gratitude and happiness is really strong. People who spend more time doing things that express their gratitude tend to be considerably happier than people who don't. Here are some ways to help your children become happier and more certain about themselves by learning to express gratitude on a regular basis.
1Help your kids practice cataloging things that they feel grateful for. For example:
2Appreciate the broad things and the little things. Gratitude can be being grateful for being born, or being grateful for specific things such as a new puppy, doll, or toy. All of this counts in practicing gratitude with your kids.
3Practice gratitude regularly. You can do it daily but research shows that even just doing it once a week will have a considerable effect and all kinds of benefits.
4Smell the roses. Savor positive experiences; doing so tends to amplify the pleasant emotions that you might be feeling.
5Have your kids tell you three good things when you put them to bed each night. This should relate to things that happened to them that day or that they did during the day. This gives them a lens through gratitude glasses. Practicing this routine at the end of the day will help teach your children to slow down, savor the moment, and notice things that they feel appreciative about and should be thankful for.
6Write gratitude letters. This is a souped-up version of the thank you note. Teach your kids to think about writing a letter to somebody like a teacher, or a family member who has done something for them that has gone with little gratitude. This teaches them that it is not just about when somebody gives you something material but when somebody really does something for you. Help your child write the letter - they can dictate for you if they're younger. Talk about what they feel grateful for and then take them to deliver it in person and read it out loud.
7Don't label your children. When we say that our children are really talented at something, we actually set this talent in stone and suggest that it doesn't change. It creates a "fixed mindset"; it means that we believe that talents and anything that a kid is good at are inborn. This label is one that they haven't necessarily earned and they got it just by being born. Instead, change that fixed mindset to be more of a growth mindset, then we start to value the role of effort a little bit more.