Thanks a Lot!  Cultivating Gratitude in Children

Thanks a Lot!  Cultivating Gratitude in Children

Got ungrateful kids, or just hoping to start them off right when it comes to appreciating the big… or little things in life?

Kids learn through modeling and repetition, and gratitude is no exception. The more often your children see or hear you showing thanks, the more seeds you plant in their garden of appreciation.

In their book, “Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character” (Templeton Press, 2014), Jeffrey J. Froh and Giacomo Bono note that young children first practice thankfulness as politeness, rather than genuine gratitude, which comes when they are old enough to appreciate why others are offering them kindness.

The words “please” and “thank you” are building blocks of gratitude and for many of us they come easily when our children are learning to talk. If your kids are a bit older though, take a day to observe your interactions, not just with your children, but with everyone you speak with. How often do you use the “magic” words?

Looking for more ways to instill an attitude of gratitude in your little ones? Here are a few to consider . . .

To read more, pick up a copy of the November 2018 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

Heather Lee Leap is a Pacific Northwest freelance writer, wife and mother.

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