With Thanksgiving coming up I think it’s a great opportunity to remind ourselves, and our kids, of how important Gratitude is in our everyday lives. I often run across other parents who have a hard time making gratitude a daily practice. So here are some practical ways to add them into your life. While I appreciate the parents that love to get crafty at any moment, these tips require no supplies, creativity, or skills. Anyone can do this.
My suggestion is to add a “gratitude share” with your kids to something you already do every day. Anything you wish to make a habit has to have consistency and something you do frequently, and adding it into something you already do daily, is an easy way to introduce gratitude to your child. While doing this daily activity, ask your child to share one thing they are grateful for.
Brushing Your Teeth
Either in the morning or the nighttime, while your child is brushing their teeth (or while you are brushing their teeth) ask for one thing they are grateful for in between tooth brush rinses.
At the Dinner Table
Before you begin eating, ask everyone around the table to share a gratitude from their day.
After stories, and any other rituals you do with bedtime, ask your child to share one thing they are grateful for.
In the Car
Many of us just crank up the music or the movie in the car and miss an opportunity to connect with our children. How about asking for one thing they are grateful for while you’re driving? It takes very little time and you can return to your music or movie after you discuss your gratitudes.
On a Walk
If you get out as a family or even with just your kids, while you are walking it’s a great opportunity to ask your kids to share something they are grateful for. Often times we can use this as an opportunity to have them notice how much nature provides for them, and helps them develop an awareness for gratitude in everyday, free, things.
My point: Gratitude practice doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. It doesn’t need to involve you crafting up something, and it doesn’t need to be something that adds to your day. Rather, it can easily be weaved into your day. You can start with sharing one thing with each other and work your way up to 3-5 things as you get the hang of it.