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Passing the benefits of gratitude along to our children and families

Be an example of gratitude. It’s the little things like enjoying a warm car on a cold day, sharing how a phone call made you smile, or what a nice surprise it was to find the dishwasher unloaded. These simple comments are what can make gratitude a part of your everyday life.

Using specific and grateful language not only shows others you care, but offers your family familiarity and comfort in doing so with peers. For example, calling grandma to tell her how much you enjoyed her card and how her message warmed your heart. Perhaps, letting your child know their smile is a favorite part of your morning. Modeling these simple specifics give children the confidence to express their own gratitude to others.

Encourage gratitude between siblings. Ask children to help their brothers and sisters. When asking for your help, consider if this can be given by a sibling. Having children ask for help and support each other builds the foundation for a trusting relationship later in life. Also, think about referring to them as friends. Sometimes we offer friends more courtesy or grace than family. By referring to your children as each other’s friend, this can remind them to extend this treatment to family as well!

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