The Power of Gratitude
Storytime Magazine (Guest)
Little ones learn a lot through stories and we believe many of the valuable lessons in tales can also change the world for the better. But did you know that children can also learn to change the way they experience the world by changing the stories they tell themselves about their experiences? The secret is using the power of gratitude.
Gratitude is being able to express appreciation and thank others for the good things we share. It can help them to develop mindfulness and empathy, as well as create connections with everyone and everything around us.
But the best thing is, gratitude is a mindset we and the little ones can learn. When we are thankful, we are more engaged in what we are doing and cultivate better relationships. All the positive emotions created by the daily habit of feeling grateful will help you to make better decisions in life.
Here are some tips for harnessing the power of gratitude. You can start by practising them yourself and as we know, little ones will follow your example. Soon everyone will know how wonderful it feel to be thankful!
1. Say ‘Thank You’!
It’s the simplest thing to say… but we often forget to do it! If you remember to say thank you every time someone helps you, you will realise how many things you have in your life to feel grateful for. It also creates a nice connection with those helping you and make you smile. Try it! Prompt children to always do so too – and they will soon need not reminder!
2. Be Kind!
There are so many ways to be kind… you can simply give compliments, share things, help someone in need, pick up rubbish, visit a friend, volunteer, or donate something. Kindness is free… so make sure you share it with everyone! Children will easily pick up on the idea and come up with new ways to share and help.
3. Be Aware!
Wonders are all around us… if you take the time to look! Smell the flowers in your garden or on your way to school and savour the tastes and textures of the food you eat! Perhaps a beautiful sunset or even a nice bath that will make your day. That sense of wonder helps to warm our hearts and make us feel grateful! Make a habit of noticing things on the way to school, like when the sun is shining or when their favourite food is in their lunchbox. Mentioning things so simple that often go unnoticed is a great way to develop this awareness.
4. Give Compliments!
Sharing appreciation is important! Every time you acknowledge someone’s good deeds or show appreciation to them, you are planting a seed of happiness in them. Giving them a compliment lets them know you are grateful for having them in your life! Celebrate small and big achievements together, and it will sure make them more confident and willing to try new things too!
5. Look for the Positives!
We can take a positive lesson from everything we go through! If we go through a stressful, challenging, or disappointing experience, we might discover ways we can improve or things we can do differently in the future. Instead of focusing on the disappointment, try to find a positive side to things that can turn your day around. Who knows, you might even feel grateful for going through a difficult experience! This exercise can teach children to reframe and focus on what they have learned from new situations. It’s a great skill that helps to build resilience.
6. Keep a Gratitude Journal!
Turn writing down what you are grateful for into a daily habit! It is very simple to do, but perhaps the most effective way to bring gratitude into your life is to write down three things you are grateful for every day. Buy a diary for your little one and they can enjoy filling it in as well in their own words.
These are great habits that will last a lifetime and help you and your family in stressful times. The best way to look after our wellbeing is by developing positive emotions and routines, so we build up a toolbox for times of need! Thank you for reading, remember to smile, and share stories with those you love!
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