Savannah pediatrician Dr. Kelsey Alexander shares tips how to practice gratitude with your kids

How to teach your kids to practice gratitude

Below is a guest post by Savannah pediatrician Dr. Kelsey Alexander @ Coastal Care Partners’ new Concierge Pediatric Clinic 

Practicing gratitude is a great way to bring joy into our lives! With the busyness and craziness of the world around us, it is helpful to look to find the things we are most grateful for each day. David Steindl-Rast, a Jesuit Priest, once said, “It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” Even after Thanksgiving season passes, here are ways your family can practice gratitude!

Keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals are an easy and inexpensive way to remind ourselves of everything we have to be grateful for. Writing down 1-3 things each day is a quick positive way to start or end each day. Even kids can do it! If they aren’t able to write, try having them draw what they are thankful for. 

In my personal life, I have two gratitude routines I practice with my own children. First, in the car on the way to school, I ask them to say one thing they are grateful for that morning. Oftentimes, I have to cut them off at about three things so that everyone can have a turn. But it’s often simple things like, “I am grateful for the sunshine… the rain… for momma taking me to school…for soccer…Friday dance parties at school.”

The second routine I use to introduce gratitude into my kids’ daily routine is during dinner. At dinner every night, everyone takes turns saying the following:

1. Best part of their day

2. Worst part of their day

3. Funniest part of their day

4. What they are thankful for

My kids will often use the worst part of their day to tell on each other, for example, “when so and so hit me,” but getting it out in the open makes it less of a big deal and also normalizes that everyone has bad parts of their day. Talking about what we are thankful for at the end helps to redirect the focus.

Another great way to put gratitude into action is to talk about random acts of kindness that kids can do during the day like saying “Hello!” to someone new, opening the door for someone, or getting involved in the community. One of my favorite kid-friendly ways to get involved in the community is P.A.C.K. (People of Action Caring for Kids).

P.A.C.K. is a local organization that helps to feed children in Savannah, and kids can volunteer to help pack food and toiletry bags, or make homemade cards for children. 

I hope that as this season of thankfulness passes you will continue to find ways to encourage gratitude in your family’s daily lives. By making a routine of it, it will become easier to do and be a source of joy throughout the day.

Coastal Care Partners, 4B Skidaway Village Walk, Savannah, GA 31411912.598.6312. Coastal Care Partners Concierge Pediatric Clinic is a advertiser

Comments are closed.