It has been scientifically proven that practicing gratitude impacts our emotions and emotional health. Evidence proves that if we have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ it can make us a happier person overall, increase our psychological well-being, increase our self-esteem and make us a more ‘likeable’ person.
For most adults, this is a fairly new revelation and it can take a lot of practice to maintain that ‘attitude of gratitude’. How wonderful would it be if you could instil an ‘attitude of gratitude’ early in your little love’s life so that it soon becomes a natural state of mind for them - setting them up for a positive, happy and emotionally balanced future? Studies have proven that cultivating gratitude can increase happiness levels by about 25%.
Later in their lives, this attribute will be critical component in helping them deal with difficult situations, lower levels of stress and depression, find and build healthy relationships and careers - who doesn’t love being around a happy, positive person?
Having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ makes us think and feel more positively and is self-fulfilling - the more we are grateful for, the happier we are and the more we find to be grateful for.
Teaching your little loves about gratitude is easy! Setting up a daily ritual of thinking of three things they are thankful/grateful for is a great start. These could be anything from “I am grateful that I have a pet to play with” to “I am grateful for the ice-cream I had today”. The whole point is that you are making them think about what they have and being thankful for it. Doing this every day starts as a reminder but eventually becomes a tradition or natural habit and that is what we are looking for. As they get older, keeping a ‘Gratitude Journal/Diary’ can help them to maintain the discipline.
Naturally, the best way to teach your child about gratitude is by them mimicking your own behaviour. Live by example - you will be surprised at how it changes your own life whilst giving your children the best gift of all.
Things go awry in life, of course they do! It is human nature to see the glass half empty - you want your little loves to grow up seeing the glass half full! When things turn to custard, try to refocus your attention on being grateful for what you still have or what is going well instead of dwelling on what went wrong. It won’t negate the issue entirely but it will make it seem less over-whelming. Practice helping your children, when they moan and groan or have a tantrum, try to get them to look on the brighter side, finding things that they still have to be grateful for - look for the good in any situation and you will find it! There is always something to be grateful for - ALWAYS.
To begin with, make it fun, make it a game, make it a family ritual so everybody benefits.
The Sage Store has a wonderful range of products to help your little loves discover the art of being thankful, grateful and building self-esteem. They are so much more than just a toy or game - they provide the building blocks for valuable life lessons.