It goes without saying that 2020 will be a year none of us are quick to forget – even if we try!
The impact of our new social norms is challenging not only for us adults, but also for our children. Perhaps even more for our children since they are still grasping how to feel what they feel and, further, be able to put words to those emotions.
Tack social media and television on top of this and you have yourself a situation that is now inundated with uncertainty, desire for what you do not have, and false realities.
It seems like we are flooded with everyone sharing all the new toys and gadgets to get, all the great trips others are going on, and all the things we wish we could have and experience. This is no different than what our kids can experience on the platforms they visit as well.
All these feelings of not having can start making us feel negative about ourselves and our lives, like what we have is no longer good enough. How can we combat all these negative feelings and create a more positive mindset for our children, especially during such a volatile time socially?
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
Here are three ways to teach your little one how to incorporate gratitude into their lives, not only benefiting them physically but also emotionally.
CREATE GRATITUDE ACTIVITIES.
We are not usually taught how to be grateful. Sometimes we need to take the time to sit down and think of all the blessings that we have. It is a skill that takes practice and consistency!
There are different ways to practice gratitude daily. Here are some ideas that you can do with your children.
You can take turns and say out loud one thing that everyone is thankful for, no matter how big or small it is.
Here are some ideas:
• Recess at school
• Their pet
• Playing with a friend
• A sibling
• A favorite food or drink
• A sunny day
You can turn this into a game like Teach Beside Me. They create a pick-up-stick game where each color stick represents a different category (food, thing, person, etc.) for everyone to name what they are thankful for!
MAKE GRATITUDE VISUAL.
Practicing gratitude allows you to be thankful for what you have no matter how big or small. When you start seeing all the little things you are thankful for, you start developing a more positive mindset which helps you create some peace of mind.
The more your mind is looking for positive things, the less anxiety and worry you feel daily.
A great visual way to practice gratitude is to make a Gratitude Tree. These are hung on the wall in a central location where everyone in the family can get involved by adding one thing (a leaf) they are grateful for every day.
Here is a great source for a printable tree and leaves: https://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/thankful-tree-printable
This is a great way to visually see all the things that the family is thankful for.
CREATE A GRATITUDE RITUAL.
A third way to get kids involved with gratitude is to create a gratitude ritual with your kiddo. You can create a special sanctuary space with your Kozy Kids Chair and your child. You can use this time to read books about gratitude together, journal together, and simply savor this time together.
Have your child create a Gratitude Journal that she writes in each day, jotting down the things she is thankful for. She can even get creative and draw pictures of these things if she is not quite to a point where writing is an option!
Gratitude is not a one-time thing. We must incorporate it into our daily lives and be intentional about it to reap the full benefits of being thankful. The more gratitude we feel, the more peace of mind eventually follows; the more peace of mind we feel, the happier our lives become.
What will you do with your little one to practice gratitude today?