By Katilyn Thomas
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays, food, family, friends, and fun come together for the ultimate combination of reflection and revelry. Beyond the celebrated food, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to help reinforce and remind kids that it’s important to be grateful daily. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that gratitude is linked to happiness in children by age 5. This means that instilling gratitude in your kids at a young age could help them grow up to be happier people.
Gratitude allows kids to celebrate the present, it dispels negative emotions, builds more resilience, and cultivates a higher sense of self-worth.
Here are some ways you can model gratitude to your kids this holiday season:
Gratitude letters and gratitude visits
There is something very tangible about putting gratitude on paper regardless of whether the letter is delivered or not. Consider a gratitude letter writing activity, then maybe pay a visit to deliver the letter or express gratitude in person to someone who has been kind or helpful to your family. Modeling appreciation in this way is a visible representation of gratitude in real life.
Share gratitude stories
What better way to learn about gratitude than through a shared read-aloud? Younger readers might enjoy titles like Gratitude Is My Superpower, The Thankful Book, and My Attitude of Gratitude. Be sure to talk about the stories afterward to help kids make connections with their own experiences.
Sincere gratitude has an impact on kids and parents alike. With so many benefits, it makes sense to work gratitude into our daily lives and encourage our kids to do the same. The Thanksgiving season is an ideal opportunity to introduce this practice and emphasize the positive aspects of life. Making time for gratitude activities with kids will not only bring us closer as a family, it will establish a mindset of appreciation and a healthy foundation for all.