By Ms. Deepshikha Dandu
Columbia Foundation Sr. Sec. School
“Nothing can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have”
Teaching children an attitude of gratitude requires helping them to look at situations from a point of appreciation rather than from a deficit. In this article, we shall see how do we, as parents or as educators, teach children such an abstract skill.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is about focusing on what’s good in our lives and being thankful for the things we have. Gratitude is pausing to notice and appreciate the things that we often take for granted, like having a place to live, food to eat, clean water to drink, friends, family and even internet access.
Why should children practice gratitude?
Children take things for granted. They become demanding and do not understand situations. They often compare their luxuries with fellow children not realizing that they’re not being grateful for all that they already possess.
They demand theme-based birthday parties, exotic holiday trips, bikes or anything which parents can’t/wouldn’t want to furnish. If we keep on favouring our kids, they will be more materialistic and would not value us when they grow older.
Children imitate adults. So, we have to practice gratitude first without nagging and whining endlessly for things that bother them like; family, society, nation and even God. For a change, let’s practice gratitude.
How to practice Gratitude?
We always ask from God and complain about what he has not given. Let’s start thanking God for his blessings- a beautiful family which is loving and caring, comfortable house where we can sleep peacefully, to name a few. Orphans don’t have parents or a house to call it theirs. Let’s be grateful to Him to grace us with eyes to see the beautiful hearts in others, ears to hear the good of others, hands to give, foot to take the right direction and actively functioning organs in our body. Let’s be grateful to Him for the things He has granted us, the things that cannot be bought, things that truly matter.
“Count your rainbows and not your thunderstorms”
Tips for practicing gratitude daily-
- Let’s practice it by writing 3 things in a gratitude journal every night before sleep.
- Thank God for another beautiful morning he has added to our life. (How many of us didn’t wake up?)
- Do one act of kindness
- Make at least one person smile
- Notice one good thing in everyone you meet
- Create a gratitude jar (Add a slip of gratitude daily)
- A visit to an orphanage or a blind school for donations on birthdays or festivals like Diwali or Christmas.
What are the benefits of practicing gratitude?
- Increases happiness
- Improves physical health
- Improves sleep
- Enhances psychological health
- Increases empathy
- Reduces aggression
- More social connection
- Enhances self-esteem
- Boosts positivity
- Become more resilient
- Improves mental strength (helps to be mindful)
Let every day be a “Thanksgiving day”