Exploring Gratitude with Your Child

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Exploring Gratitude with Your Child

What is gratitude and why is it so important? In short, gratitude is a reflective way of thinking. It’s part of mindfulness. It’s being aware of the good things in life and consciously feeling the positives which they bring. These feelings can be utilised throughout a child’s life and especially in their educational journey. As the principal of this top boarding school believes, positivity is at the heart of success.

Children can learn how to be grateful from a very young age. Even small children of 3 or 4 can understand the joy which a gift or a special event can bring. Helping your child to understand and feel more gratitude is important because they will feel more fulfilled and happy in their day-to-day life once they grasp the concept.

How to teach gratitude?

By your own actions you can show your child that some things are not to be taken for granted – in fact, most things in life which we appreciate should be noted and acknowledged. Here are some of the day-to-day aspects of life which many people take for granted and which will be all the more appreciated if they are noted:

The weather – when it’s sunny or otherwise, the weather can make our environment even more beautiful than usual. Rain creates little ponds in our gardens which can be explored, frost makes the plants and trees appear magical. Show these delights to your child and express your own gratitude for them. 
Food – whether it’s a bowl of porridge or an apple, delight in each part of every meal or snack and your child will learn to do the same. 
Other people – friends, neighbours, the postman – all add to our lives in some positive way and by showing appreciation, you will teach your child both gratitude and respect. 
Animals and insects! - These bring joy to children and by pointing them out on a regular basis, your child will learn to delight in everything from ants to snails and from dogs to ponies. 

Keeping it up

We all have bad days. Those days when nothing seems to go right. It’s during those days that the most important lessons on gratitude may be learned. A dropped biscuit can be turned from an accident into a feast for the mice. A skinned knee can be quickly turned into an adventure and tales of bravery and resilience – as well as a fun bandage! Remember to find the positives in each and every event. Your child will learn to do the same and be happier as a result.

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