From a young age my parents taught me how to practice gratitude. In these modern times I often see children that are not always appreciative toward their parents or peers and often demonstrate a lack of this valuable attribute.
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Why is it so important to practice gratitude?
Teaching gratitude goes beyond just saying thank you. In the dictionary the word gratitude is defined as “strong feeling of appreciation to something or someone for what the person has done to help you.” When you are the receiver of a random act of generosity or kindness, it induces a desire to do the same for others. It triggers an emotion of happiness and a sense of belonging.
Cultivating gratification in your child from a young age can have significant benefits.
Professor Robert Emmons that specialises in psychology at the University of California, Davis, who is accomplished in the science of gratitude, found that gratitude in adults can induce physical, social and psychological advantages including:
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Enhance immune function
- Boosting happiness and well-being
- Lowering feelings of isolation and loneliness
How to teach your children to practice gratitude
- A few simple steps of teaching your child gratitude is by:
- Teaching them to the principle of saying “please” and “thank you”.
- Helping those that are less fortunate.
- Sending out thank-you cards
- Sharing your gratitude when it’s bedtime.
- Pay others a compliment.
- Sharing gratitude at the dinner table.
Kids look up to their parents, therefore it’s no use trying to teach your child gratitude when you are not setting an example yourself.
Another great way of teaching a child to be grateful is through reading. Children identify with the characters in the book and there are many advantages associated with reading with your child from a young age.
Have a look at these 8 children books that teach gratitude:
- My little book of blessings – by Jennifer Dewing
- This cute 20-page hardcover book includes a sweet collection of ten daily blessings and can be customised with your child’s name, gender, birth date and names of family members and friends.
- This book teaches your child about gratitude, friendship and having compassion.
- A great Christmas, baptism or birthday gift, is of high quality and is ideal for boys and girls, ages 0-8.
- Sesame street set of 8 books teaching manners
Teaching your children good manners from an early age, is the first step towards guiding them to practice gratitude. Good manners are one of the fundamental factors in raising a polite and well-behaved child.
- Kids love adorable Elmo from Sesame street and what better way than to teach your children about being polite, saying please and thank you, how to be a good friend, teaching them how to share and taking turns and other issues that has to do with demonstrating good manners and caring for others.
- The books are colourfully illustrated, made from durable and high-quality materials.
- Suitable for toddlers and kids.
- The Gift that I can give – by Katie Lee Gifford
This cute little book is packed full of life lessons for the little ones. This book teaches children unique ways to being kind, demonstrating love, making a difference in the life of others and overall making the world a better place.
The illustrations are adorable and teaches children to be generous with their hearts by loving themselves and others and being thankful.
- I’m thankful for … a book about being grateful – by Uncle Amon
These books are perfect when you’re looking for children’s books that are great for entertaining early readers.
- These books are about teaching children good morals and lessons about sharing, love and caring about others.
- The stories are easily readable and has cute and bright illustrations to captivate the little ones and is perfect to take with when traveling and for reading out aloud at home.
- Contains 5 bedtime stories for children.
- Teaching morals and lessons about being grateful.
- Has fun games and mazes.
- Include just for fun activities and crafts.
- Suitable for early readers.
- The Thankful book – by Todd Parr
This best-selling book by Todd Parr teaches kids about respecting the earth, facing their fears, how to show unconditional love and more. The book celebrates all the little things in life that children can give thanks for and to appreciate life’s special moments.
- The Rumpoles and the Barleys – by Karen Hunt
This sweet hard cover book about a family of mice who is living in the attic of the old Rampole mansion on the outskirts of Dilbury town has a 5-star rating on Amazon. The Karen Hunt books have the the most delightful illustrations are highly recommended when you want to teach your child about thankfulness and forgiveness.
The story is about two little mice named Eustace and Prunella who gets sent to their room after misbehaving. They sneak out of the bedroom window but lands themselves in a tricky situation. They embark on an adventure that teaches them a valuable lesson in thankfulness while making new friends.
- The things I’m grateful for Bundle (4 books included) – by Arnie Lightning
The author has published over 100 children’s books and are highly accomplished in his field. These stories are created for friends to read out aloud and includes lessons and morals about gratitude.
The book bundle include:
- Four books in one.
- Twenty short stories.
- Just for fun activities.
- Maze puzzles that are fun and challenging.
- The very fairy princess: Attitude of gratitude – by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton
This sweet story is about a little girl named Gerry that is attending Gratitude day at school. She is ready to give out compliments, be kind all day long and show gratitude. She’s donated a painting to her class’s art gallery and made a jar contribution for the food drive. But when disaster strikes, it becomes more and more difficult to stay grateful.
Can Gerry prove that fairy princesses always an attitude of gratitude despite your day not going as planned?
- This book is available in hardcover and suitable for ages 5-6.
- The book has a 5-star rating on Amazon and great customer reviews.