Why gratitude is such an important attribute for children

Looking for ways to build gratitude in your child? Find out why gratitude is such an important attribute for children in this quick read.

Tue Jan 17, 2023

Gratitude is important for children's development because it encourages them to appreciate what they have rather of obsessing over what they lack or seek. When children express gratitude, it can help them to improve their relationships with others because it indicates that they care about and value the people in their life. Gratitude has also been linked to increased happiness, better sleep, and other benefits, which can boost a child's mental and physical well-being. Teaching children to be grateful can also help to create a feeling of community and togetherness by allowing them to recognise the significant role that so many of us play in their lives.

Here are a few ideas to develop gratitude among children: 

1. Set an example: Children learn by watching, so be grateful yourself. Allow your children to witness you expressing gratitude and appreciation for the things in your life. 

2. Encourage your children to express thankfulness: Encourage your children to show gratitude to others, whether by exclaiming "thank you" when someone does something wonderful for them or by writing thank-you cards. 

3. Educate children the value of things: It is easy for kids to take things for granted, especially if they have a lot of material possessions. Help your children grasp the worth of their belongings by discussing where they came from and the effort and resources required to achieve them. 

4. Train children to embrace the present moment: Children (and adults) can become engrossed in the quest of more, whether it is more material possessions or more adventures. Inspire your children to relish the present moment and to be grateful for what they have. 

5. Encourage acts of kindness: Inspiring kids to undertake acts of kindness for others is one way to instill appreciation in them. This can help children understand how their actions impact others and how to acknowledge the compassion of others in return. 

6. Practice appreciation as a family: Make time as a family to acknowledge what you are grateful for. This might be around supper, sleep, or any other time that works best for your family. You might also have a thankfulness jar where everyone can write down things they are grateful for. 

7. Teach children about giving: Sharing with others may be a great method to promote thankfulness since it teaches children that they have the ability to positively impact others. You may encourage your children to help others in need by donating their time, resources, or other means. 

8. Motivate children to express gratitude creatively: Children may find it easier to express gratitude creatively via activities such as painting, writing, or singing. Encourage your children to express their appreciation and gratitude artistically. 

9. Make gratitude a daily habit: The more kids practise gratitude, the easier it becomes. Encourage your children to express thankfulness on a daily basis, and think about including gratitude practices into your daily routine. 

10. Play gratitude-themed games: There are numerous games and activities that can help kids develop gratitude. You may, for example, play "I'm glad for..." in which each person takes turns mentioning something they are grateful for. You may also attempt a thankfulness scavenger hunt, in which children must search for items for which they are grateful around the house or in the neighbourhood. 

11. Take part in community service: Community service may be a wonderful approach to teach children the value of giving back and to appreciate what they have. Look for possibilities for your children to participate in community service initiatives. 

12. Instill thankfulness through role-playing: Because children learn best through play, try utilising role-playing to instil gratitude. You may create scenarios in which children can express their thankfulness to others. 

13. Maintain a gratitude journal: Encourage your children to create a gratitude journal in which they may record the things they are grateful for each day. This may be a wonderful method for kids to express their gratitude.

In conclusion, gratitude is a great virtue to possess as by focussing on what one has, the child feels good and is able to develop a positive outlook towards life. This in turn brings about more good things in their lives.

While all these tips help kids develop gratitude, we need to provide them with tools that have a lasting impact. In BodhiShishu's gratitude building program, we provide techniques that work at a sub-conscious level to help kids be more thankful for the good things in their lives, more effortlessly. As against the above tips, that work in a 'Beta brainwave' state which may or may not work, our techniques work in the 'Alpha brainwave' state and are suited for all learner types- Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic.

Always keep in mind that every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. It is important to be patient and try multiple methods to see what works best for your child. Your child can learn the skills needed to be thankful and grateful with practise and encouragement.

Darshan Bawa
Founder- BodhiShishu, Social- Emotional Learning (SEL) and potential growth coach for kids. Passionate about helping children unleash their full potential.

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