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How To Teach Kids About Gratitude

Gratitude is about more than saying “thank you.” It’s about noticing and thinking about what you’re thankful for, and feeling positive about the experience.

Gratitude is a process that unfolds into action by noticing what or whom to be grateful for, thinking about why one is grateful, and feeling positively about the experience of gratitude (Hussong et al., 2018).

This activity can prompt children to first notice what or whom they’re grateful for and to think about why they’re grateful.

Below are four key steps for adults to help kids learn how to notice and talk about the people and things they are thankful for.

Practice looking. Encourage kids to practice looking for one person or thing that inspires gratitude each week. Try our gratitude prompts.

Think about the “why.” Have kids write, draw, or make something that represents the person or thing they feel grateful for and encourage them to think about why they are grateful for that person or thing.

Talk about gratitude. At the end of the week have kids share what they are thankful for and why. For example, “I’m thankful for grandpa because he always makes me laugh even when I’m sad.”

Make it a habit. Talking about gratitude at least once a week for several weeks will help develop a habit, and kids will be more likely to have positive feelings about the experience of gratitude.

source: Making Caring Common Project HARVARD

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