Teaching Children to Express Gratitude - Delphi Boston Delphi Boston

Teaching Children to Express Gratitude

Teaching children

Teaching children how to express gratitude can start at any point in the year and their lives. As Thanksgiving approaches and the time of thankfulness and gratitude, we thought it appropriate to share some crafty ways you can get your kids to express gratitude.

Grateful kids are so much happier. They are compassionate and engaged in their life, your life, and those around them. Some simple habits and projects can lead them on the way to being able to express their gratitude in a thoughtful way.

Does your child express thankfulness?

Thankfulness and appreciativeness can alter your child’s perception of life in a positive way. One study found that 12-year-olds who expressed gratitude on a regular basis were more likely to be optimistic, feel satisfied with their lives and have positive experiences at school.

Keep in mind that gratitude is something we learn, and can be taught early and often. It should be kept light and fun so they know that showing thanks is one of the great aspects of life!

1. Teaching children about gratitude can start small: Teach them how to say “Thank You”.

Encourage your children to say “Thank You” on a regular basis. Offer reminders like, “Your sister let you chose first. What should you say to her?” or “What do you say to Dad for buckling you in?”

This will help kids to start recognizing when others give them something, whether tangible or not, and is the first step in realizing how to show gratitude.

2. Find something good about each day.

Teaching your kids how to find the extraordinary in the ordinary is a great activity at the end of each day. Tell them something you saw today that made you particularly grateful, compassionate or happy. Ask them to do the same, and how it made them feel.

3. Write notes of appreciation.

Ask your kids to write a handwritten note to someone they’re thankful for; if kids are too young to write, have them a draw picture instead. Ask them to think of who makes their lives better or brighter.

When kids start to reflect, it gets them to become more thoughtful of who is in their life and what they are grateful for.

4. Establish a gratitude ritual.

Make it a habit in your family to express gratitude. This might be every day, every other day or just once a week. Establishing this as part of your routine as a family is a wonderful way to make it second nature.

It could be that at dinner everyone takes turns sharing something they were grateful for that day. Maybe you write letters of appreciation to friends and family every week. Possibly during your car rides you can each express three things you are thankful for.

The sky is the limit on when you can establish gratitude into your daily/weekly ritual.

5. Finally, in teaching children, model gratitude yourself.

This is one of the most basic ways to get your children to pick up on thankfulness and expressing gratitude. When you show thanks in all ways, and maintain wonderful manners yourself, your kids will pick up on this.

Say “Thank You”, discuss gratitude, and express gratitude. Tell your kids what you are thankful for each day!

At Delphi Academy we are thankful each day for our outstanding staff, student body and parents. We try to show it any many ways each day. If you’d like to learn more about our school and how we show thanks, click here.


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