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Gratitude is taking some time out to appreciate the things that we usually take for granted such as the roof on our heads, food, water, electricity, family, friends and in times of the pandemic, computer access.
Gratitude is to be able to say ‘Thank you’ when someone does something nice for you. Gratitude gives us hope that there is still goodness in this world.
Gratitude has lots of benefits for the mental and physical health of a child. It brings about higher levels of happiness and optimism. It improves sleeping habits and reduces stress in life. It increases self-esteem. Children have improved relationships and are better socially connected if they know how to express gratitude.
Some activities that can be tried with kids so that they are able to practice gratitude in daily life. The more they practice, the more they become good at it. Here’s how you can teach your child to be grateful!
1. Be a good role model yourself.
Thank and appreciate your kids for jobs they do well like cleaning their rooms, helping you in folding clothes, cheering you up in your moments of sadness, helping their siblings, etc. Show your kids that you are kind, giving, helping and appreciative of your loved ones. Our children imitate us so give them something great to imitate.
2. Do random acts of kindness.
Be kind without thinking much. Involve your kids in the acts of kindness. Making a card for grandparents, delivering flowers to the sick, giving food and clothes to the ones in need, giving food and water to the birds and animals, etc. This helps the kids think positively and they might also develop great social connections in the process.
3. Keep a gratitude journal.
It is an amazing habit for older children who can write. On a daily basis, kids should write down the things that they are grateful for. This will be really helpful during their difficult days. A gratitude journal will help them focus on good things and forget the bad things. It will also help them reflect on their journey so far.
4. Focus away from negative towards positive.
Kids should try to find positivity in every situation. For example, rather than thinking that they are stuck at home in this pandemic, they should be thankful that they get to be with their family, they are getting to know more about themselves, and that they are developing new hobbies etc. They should be thankful for these opportunities.
5. Try volunteering.
Once the pandemic is over, try involving the older kids in volunteering activities where they can be a part of a service organisation and learn about their work of operation.
Teaching gratitude will help children grow up to be empathetic, kind and caring adults. So make sure you do your bit to teach your kids to be grateful!
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