“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
~ William Arthur Ward
Of course we’re talking about the character trait of GRATITUDE in the month of November. It just makes sense, right? We’re kicking off the holiday season with family and friends, and remember the things we are thankful for in our lives. But what if we got into the habit of practicing gratitude EVERY DAY?
Did you know there is actual research that suggests developing a regular gratitude practice can reduce your blood pressure and increase your overall immune system? Sounds like JUST what we need in 2020, right?
Gratitude is a learned character trait. So, the best way to teach our children to be thankful is to model it early on. That way, kids can create a habit of gratefulness to last a lifetime – not just on Thanksgiving! Here are some suggestions how…
BECOME A “NOTICER”
- This is something my family prides themselves in – noticing those around us. There are good things happening around us every day. As you see it in daily life, mention it to your children. Maybe someone in the grocery line had a lot more groceries than you and let you step ahead in line. Let your kids know how appreciative and grateful that made you feel.
- Habits don’t get created overnight. Set a reminder on your phone to remind yourself to do a daily gratitude ritual. Maybe on your ride to school, everyone names one thing they are grateful for that day. Perhaps you have a journal on the coffee table that everyone fills in on Sundays. Say grace before meals. Paying gratitude for our food doesn’t have to be religious, but a simple habit that allows us to stop and appreciate the blessing of food on the table.
BONUS: Gratitude for our families can surely be celebrated with our latest FREEBIE: FAMILY TIME GAME! Make sure you’re signed up to receive our monthly newsletters for more free goodies in the months ahead!
- Express gratitude for others, and incorporate your children into your actions. Calling Grandma to thank them for attending your soccer game, or writing a thank you note for a birthday gift. Small actions that add up to a lot: your children recognizing the importance of gratitude.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY IDEAS
- Repurpose holiday cards and have your children cut out images to make their own thank you notes or to use as gift tags on a plate of cookies to your neighbor!
- Make homemade cards using fingerprint designs with your children. In fact, it’s actually a year-round activity to “bank” some artwork for future thank you cards!
GOT A DAILY GRATITUDE RITUAL THAT YOU LOVE? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
Sarah Cavanaugh is a Marketing, PR and Communications Specialist with over 25 years of experience writing, building effective marketing campaigns, and creating brand awareness. Sarah can usually be found walking her neighborhood, drinking coffee and watching Saturday Night Live skits on YouTube. She lives with her two active teens and husband in Grand Rapids. Find her at www.CavanaughCommunications.com.