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Teaching your child to practice gratitude will help them approach life with a positive mindset and appreciate what they have rather than dwelling on what they lack. Grateful children tend to be happier and feel more fulfilled generally, and deal with setbacks and challenges with confidence and optimism. Read on for some tips from a primary school in Bristol on ways you can explore gratitude with your child. 

Demonstrate gratitude

The best way to instil a sense of gratitude in your child is to model thankfulness yourself. Try to avoid complaining too much and make sure they see you approaching obstacles or disappointments with optimism. Demonstrate your appreciation for positive events or people who have done something kind for you, and explain to your child how they too can give thanks to others and why that’s important. Don’t forget to thank your child also when they’ve done something nice for you.

Encourage reflection

Prompt your child to think regularly about the good things in their life and what they’re thankful for. You could make a ritual of going round the dinner table when you’re eating and listing three things you’re happy about that happened during the day, or give your child a journal they can write in to reflect on positive events. This will get them into the habit of actively identifying and appreciating the good things around them. 

Communicating appreciation

You can prompt your child to show appreciation for others by engaging them in activities like choosing their teacher’s gift at the end of the school year or writing a thank you card to a friend whose party they attended. This will help them learn to value people and how they impact positively on their life and communicate their appreciation for them. Over time they’ll also learn how nice it is to receive gratitude from others in return, which will encourage them to do it more themselves. 

Acts of kindness

Get your child involved in acts of kindness as much as possible; for example, they could help you volunteer in the local community to assist people in need, and in the process learn that they have a lot of positive things in their life in comparison to others who are less fortunate. This will teach them about compassion and empathy while making them feel more grateful for what they have. 

Gratitude is a practice and one parent can help children cultivate by demonstrating how to show appreciation for life and encouraging children to reflect on the good things they have on a regular basis. 

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