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Written by Claire M., Sprout Volunteer

As the holidays approach and you are thinking of things that you are grateful for, here are some ways to teach your children gratitude.

Teaching children to be appreciative is a year-round effort, but it is a worthwhile pursuit; positive psychology has established that people who are grateful are happier and more successful.

  1. Create an Attitude of Gratitude Box: Fill a shoebox with art supplies designated for making thank-you cards. This can help artistic or crafty children embrace the idea of frequent displays of gratitude. Print several quoted about gratitude from your home printer and use them in blank greeting cards, encouraging children to use them to decorate home made thank-you cards for relatives. Stickers, markers, ribbons and scrap booking supplies are lots of fun to work with. Children who enjoy creating art projects will be proud to present their heartfelt thank-you cards
  2. Gratitude Journal: Creating a Gratitude Journal is a way to train the mind to constantly look for reasons to be grateful. Make a habit of keeping a gratitude journal and encourage children to record things they are grateful for. Discuss surrounding the positive aspects of life, and especially seeming negative situations help children learn to focus their minds on the good things.
  3. Express Your THanks Out Loud: While you’re eating dinner with your kids, go around the table and share one or two things you are thankful for. What’s especially great about this simple habit is that your kids will inspire you to see things you have not seen before.
  4. Be a Role Model: Thank your children for picking up their toys; Thank the cashier at the store for bagging your groceries; Thank your spouse for taking out the garbage. Whatever it is that you are thankful for, when your children see you expressing gratitude, they will do it too!