The Importance of Practicing Gratitude With Children

Early childhood is an excellent time to begin teaching children about gratitude.

Parents and children can share about things they are grateful for at the dinner table or in the car on the way home from childcare or school. Encouraging older children (and adults) to keep a gratitude journal is also helpful.

Gratitude can reverse the negative thinking that can lead to anxiety and depression in children and adults.

Gratitude is in the attitude.

Gratitude can be defined as an attitude of appreciation and thankfulness.

When parents express gratitude, they are modeling positive thinking for their children. Having a positive attitude can significantly impact our behaviors and the behavior of those around us. Positive thinking has been shown to influence the way that a person actually feels.

Developing the ability to quiet negative thoughts while replacing them with positive ones can increase our sense of well-being. Gratitude is one of the avenues that we can use to nudge our thoughts and feelings in a positive direction.

Gratitude requires practice so it is important for parents to develop their own attitude for gratitude if they want to pass it on to their children.

To get started, begin a gratitude journal. At the beginning and end of your day, list three things for which you are grateful.

Begin to notice all of the goodness in your life that you may have been taking for granted. When you hear yourself complain about something, try to come up with a positive statement to describe the situation.

When you practice gratitude, you’ll begin to see your attitude changing and, in turn, you will feel more positively about your life.

In gratitude,

Dr. Sharon Picard and the VWS Team
(360) 828-1429