Whether the top of the class or not, rich or poor, the answer to the mystery of success and happiness lies within an attitude of gratitude. If there is one thing that I desire more than for my kids to achieve high grades is to instill the importance of being thankful for everything in their lives, no matter how big or small.
In this post, you will find some ideas to help teach kids, of all ages, about being grateful for things in the hope that one day they will also develop this mindset that will lead to true happiness in their life.
1. Say 'Thank you'
Modeling and instilling the importance of saying 'thank you' is a great way to begin the lifelong practice of gratitude. Use gentle reminders when kids forget, eventually they''ll remember.
2. Show your appreciation for the small stuff
Voicing your appreciation for even the smallest of things is a great way to demonstrate the act of gratitude. For example, "Thank you for putting your rubbish in the bin, I'm so happy that you care about keeping our classroom clean."
3. Make it part of your daily routine
Whether at the end of the day in the classroom or right before bed at home, set aside a couple of minutes to do a gratitude talk. In the classroom, ask each student to say something that they are thankful for today. At home ask your child what three things they are thankful for today. It doesn't matter how big or small. For example one thing my son always says when we do this is 'thank you for bringing me back home.'
4. Sometimes say 'no' to the material things
It's tempting to say yes to the material things because you know it brings joy to the kid/s. However, every now and again, I say 'no' even if I don't want to, When I say 'no' in these situations I extend the response with, 'not today, let's stop for a while and appreciate what we already have.' Then start a discussion about what do we like/love that we have at home or in the classroom.
5. Give and volunteer to help others
Teach kids to share, donate, help, and care for others who may be less fortunate.
At School: set aside some time to do some local charity work as a class. This may involve helping out at a local center or raise funds for a cause to help those in need.
At home: together you can set aside items in good condition to give to others who may need them and/or volunteer to help at a local charity center. You could also host your own fundraising events to help a cause, keep your kids involved in the process.
6. Role Play
Role play is a great way to teach gratitude. For young ones this can be done through imaginative play, I like to use our toys and put them in scenarios where we can explore the idea of being thankful. For older students and groups in the classroom, you could give scenarios to groups to role play or think about what they would do.
7. Random Acts of Kindness
Any act of kindness no matter how big or small can make a difference. There are so many ways kids can do this at any age. Some examples include:
8. Gratitude Jar
All you need is a jar and a label to set this little project up. Keep the jar somewhere easily accessible at home. Every now and again, with your child or children, write something that you are thankful for and put it in the jar.
In the classroom, keep your gratitude jar on a shelf in the classroom. Allow kids to add to it anytime they want, but make it a habit to do a thankful note once a week to add to the jar.
The goal of this is to get kids in the habit of remembering to stop every now and again to be grateful for something in their lives.
Whichever way or ways you decide to use to help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude the important thing to remember is that patience and consistency will be needed in the process.
Do you have an activity or approach that helps instill gratitude? Please share what has worked for you in the comments sections.
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies