We all know that it’s good for kids to be grateful. But did you know that there’s a creative payoff that grateful kids can benefit from?
Seeing (and expressing appreciation for) goodness wherever it exists helps to develop mindfulness in kids. Practicing gratitude requires slowing down and noticing things, stopping for a moment to focus on one thing in a positive way.
This “mindfulness training” improves kids’ ability to focus, enhancing their problem-solving and outside-the-box thinking – a definite boost to creativity. Getting into the gratitude habit unlocks creative thoughts, ideas, and intuition.
Feeling grateful can also lower the stress level kids feel, increase their happiness, and help them develop healthy relationships. Having less stress and healthier relationships frees kids to “be in the moment” and pursue their creative interests. It gets them out of “survival mode” thinking and helps them relax enough to think creatively.
To develop gratitude in kids, encourage them to talk about the things they’re thankful for, maybe with a daily reflection at dinner or bedtime.
Or take some time to read notes together that have been added to a “gratitude jar” throughout the week. Keeping a gratitude journal and going on “gratitude walks” are great ideas, too. And of course, model gratitude every chance you get!
Another way to practice gratitude with kids is to make some Gratefulness Rocks. All you need are one or more paint markers and some smooth, flat rocks. Check out this fun activity on my blog for easy directions, helpful tips, and ideas for how to use these creative visual reminders!
An Inspiring Quote:
“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.”
~ Mary Davis
Another benefit of gratitude is how it builds upon itself. There’s a “snowball effect” where the more gratitude you feel, the more opportunities to be grateful you find all around you. And it’s contagious, too – in a good way!