Teach-Kids-Gratitude-YMCA-of-Greater-WhittierGratitude is good for us. Showing appreciation for something sets off a chain reaction of positive feelings. So rather than experiencing stress or negative emotions, gratitude helps us feel better.

Gratitude is good for your body and your mind. And that’s a benefit for all ages, kids and adults. So here are a few ways to teach kids gratitude and bring more positivity to their lives.

1. Set a gratitude example.

One way to teach your kids grateful behaviors is by setting a gratitude example. By modeling what it means to be thankful, your kids will pick up on that behavior. For instance, if your kids or someone in your life does something kind, saying “thank you” shows that you’re grateful. And that means something. Let your kids know when they do something you appreciate. Even the smallest gesture can go a long way.

2. Help your kids look for something positive.

It’s not always easy to find the silver lining in a challenging situation, but practicing gratitude means looking for something positive. By helping your kids shift their focus and find something optimistic, no matter how small or trivial that might seem at the time, you’ll be assisting in creating a habit that will be very useful later in life.

3. Give back to your community.

Another great way for you and your kids to practice gratitude is finding ways to give back to your community. This could be through a variety of actions, like donating to a local shelter or volunteering at your local YMCA or community center. Giving back is yet another way to set off a positive domino effect in your life, as well as in those around you.

4. Practice gratitude as a family.

By practicing gratitude as a family, you’ll reap the benefits together. You could start a gratitude activity together and get each member of your family to participate. This could be a family gratitude jar or tree where you all contribute things you are grateful for and see that appreciation grow over time. Even something as simple as discussing what you’re each thankful for at the dinner table is yet another way to model and practice gratitude as a family.

At the YMCA of Greater Whittier, you’re not just joining a gym. You’re joining a cause! To learn more about how you can help or give back, contact us today.