The holidays are just around the corner and I can’t believe it! Where has this year gone!? I’m trying to take a step back and put things into perspective as I spend more time with my family and soak it all in. I brought on my dearest educator, Jenny Morgan to share some tips to keep us grateful and share with your kiddos. I’m saving this advice!
As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, we are all in the midst of busyness: meals are being planned, tables are being set, family and friends are coming to visit. With all of the many items on our to-do list, it’s easy to get lost in the flurry of activity. This season, though hectic, provides moments of honest reflection of our blessings and what we are all grateful for. It’s a conversation that, when started, can blossom into a newfound appreciation for the people and the opportunities around you.
Teaching your children about gratitude and thankfulness is a mindset and an actual lifestyle. Simply telling your child to be grateful does not always work. Huff Post cites 11 tips for instilling true gratitude in your kids, and their ideas are creative and inclusive.
· Name your blessings.
· Be a grateful parent.
· Resist the urge to shower them with too much “stuff”.
· Have ’em pitch in when they want something.
· Keep thank you notes on hand.
· Set a good example by saying “thank you” sincerely and often.
· Link gratitude to your Higher Power.
· Encourage them to give back.
· Insist on politeness and respect all around.
· Look for teachable moments.
· Find the silver lining.
Similarly, when teaching gratitude in the classroom, the best and most brilliant responses have happened with authentic conversations and interactions among students. Asking questions like, “How is he or she a good friend to you?” elicits responses rooted in reflection. Once the information is collected, sharing the responses aloud is so powerful. Not only does it strengthen the classroom community, but it also highlights important friendships or sparks new ones in the making.
This same concept can be done at home. Asking your children questions about their day, their friendships, or even challenges they have overcome will give you further opportunities for connection and reflection. If your child is resistant to share aloud, they can write their thoughts down in a gratitude journal. Scholastic notes that this simple practice leads to increased happiness. “Studies show that practicing gratitude makes you happier. People who intentionally focus on recognizing people and things that they are thankful for—on a daily or weekly basis—report feeling happy for up to a month after the positive affirmations” (Rodriguez, 2018). With the daily practice of gratitude journaling, children will also be focusing on handwriting, spelling, and sentence structure.
As always, I’m more than happy to share my thoughts and insight with all of you. In the spirit of gratitude, I am truly thankful for your comments and support! Wishing you all a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
I think the feeling is mutual when I say this; Ms. Morgan, we are thankful for YOU! I always appreciate new perspective and constant reminders of how we can better ourselves. This is a great way to start the holiday season. Practicing gratefulness is always something we can get better at. We are working on this in my own home! Comment below of how you apply this in yours. Happy Thanksgiving!