From the November 2018 issue

The Art of Gratitude: A Cartoon Guide to Teaching Kids to be Grateful

It doesn't always come naturally. This season of giving thanks, consider these 10 ways of teaching kids to be grateful.

If our social media profiles are any indication, we’re a grateful generation of parents. Our Instagram posts are filled with #blessed and our profile pics are adorned with “Thankful for us” frames.

But are we living with gratitude? Showing it? Modeling it for our children? If we’re honest with ourselves, we could probably kick it up a notch. As they say, our kids are watching – and gratitude is a skill (yes, a skill) that will last a lifetime.

Research shows gratitude improves psychological health, self-esteem and increases empathy – and one study even found that grateful people report feeling healthier and have fewer aches and pains.

So how can we encourage our children to be grateful? In honor of the season of giving thanks, we offer this list of 10 simple ways to teach kids gratitude.

1. Express gratitude for something every day.

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2.​ Spend time volunteering.

3.​ Model the way.

4.​ Have them write “thank you” notes.

5. Don’t overwhelm them with too much “stuff.”

6.​ Find the silver lining in tough situations.

7.​ Teach them to work for what they want.

8.​ Instill a spirituality for things bigger than themselves.

9. Teach them to recognize the efforts of others.

10. Let them know how lucky you are to be a family.

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