by: Scott Colby

Teaching our kids to say thank you is important, but so is instilling a sense of gratitude in them. Being truly grateful is a mindset and a lifestyle and it goes way beyond just having good manners and being polite to other people. There are studies indicating that kids who feel a sense of gratitude benefit in many ways, including enjoying greater satisfaction towards life in general and a better attitude towards school.

So, the next time you go to the grocery store, encourage your children to pick up one or two canned goods to donate to the local food bank or to someone they know who is in need. You might also encourage your children to donate toys they no longer use or clothes they’ve outgrown to children who may need a little extra help.

Here are 3 more tips to inspire your children to be more grateful:

  1. Encourage your kids to create an art project that includes people and things they are grateful for, and have them present it to the whole family at dinner.
  2. As part of a regular bedtime routine, ask your kids what they are grateful for just from that day. Once a week, after Sunday dinner, gather around as a family and encourage all family members to discuss one thing they are grateful for from the week.
  3. Encourage your kids to write thank you notes, not just when someone gets them a gift, but whenever someone does something nice for them. Once a year, perhaps on Thanksgiving, the entire family writes thank you notes expressing their gratitude for each other. Each person reads their gratitude notes out loud to the other family members.

If we foster this feeling of gratitude in our children and in others, just think how much better our lives will be.

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