10 Ways to Encourage Feelings of Gratitude

1) Begin a tradition of listing things you are thankful for, daily, or weekly. Be specific. Take turns sharing thankful statements as part of a bedtime routine. I am thankful for the sound of falling snow. I am thankful for the way the Christmas lights shine out from under their snowy blanket.

2) Mention how grateful you are for the small things, everyday. Say it out loud. I'm so glad it's sunny today -- it warms my soul. I love your hugs, son.

3) Minimize the toys at easy reach {store and cycle them} and make mention of how nice it is to have what we have. These train tracks sure are fun to build with! I'm glad _____ gave us these puzzles!

4) Talk about how you appreciate the people in your life. We had so much fun with ____ today; isn't it great to have such nice friends?!

5) Model thankfulness toward people in service industries. Let your child hear you showing them appreciation. Wow, thanks for helping me with these groceries! Thanks for the speedy service!

6) Be aware of others who have less than we do. Let this teach us to be grateful for what we do have. And give away what we can. Time for a field trip to the soup kitchen or food bank?

7) Create a visual representation of your thankfulness around the holidays, whether that be a Thankful Tree or a Thankful Box. How about a mural for the wall, filled with drawings of things you are all thankful for? 

8) Practice random acts of kindness -- delivering treats to friends, holding the door for someone, raking leaves...whatever can be done to show someone you are grateful for them. People matter.

9) Have children pick out gifts for their friends or siblings. Generosity and putting others first ties right in with a grateful heart. I picked this out just for you. I thought you would like it.

10) Spend Thanksgiving Day doing more than eating. Spend quality time with those who matter most to you and your family. Tell them you are grateful for them! I am grateful for you. Thank you.