Research shows that kids' grateful spirits are developed through experience, so find opportunities for your child to give to others. Those moments will help him see how grateful others are for his kind gestures. In turn, he will be more likely to incorporate the virtue of gratitude into his daily behaviors.You might take homemade cookies to a nursing home, rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, deliver children's books your family no longer reads to a homeless shelter, or visit a lonely relative or friend. Hands-on giving is really the best way for kids to appreciate the power of gratitude. It's also a wonderful way for them to recognize that often the most appreciated gifts are ones that come straight from the heart.
The First 21 Days
Start a Count Your Blessings Campaign in your family. For younger kids, start a nighttime tradition in which each family member is encouraged to give thanks for at least one thing that happened during the day.Watch your kids' gratitude multiply for even the simplest kind acts because your family is more intentional at noticing and then acknowledging them. For older kids, have them keep a Gratitude Journal with an entry each day that documents something they've done or seen that expresses an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for the blessings of life.Another idea is to encourage your children to do one random act of kindness each day for someone in the family, at school, among their friends, but even a perfect stranger. This can be planned or spontaneous or must be shared before the day is over. Hint: Suggest they see the film or read the book titled Pay It Forward.
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