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Nurturing The Attitude Of Gratitude In Kids: 10 Wonders

attitude of gratitude in kids

Nurturing The Attitude Of Gratitude In Kids: 10 Wonders

An attitude of gratitude in kids confers immense benefits spanning the emotional, social, physical, and academic realms. Thankful kids demonstrate greater happiness, resilience, empathy, motivation, and health outcomes. This article explores the specific advantages of nurturing gratitude in youth, as well as tangible practices parents and teachers can integrate into their daily routines to plant seeds of appreciation early on. Creative ideas include classroom thank-you notes and artwork, family dinnertime sharing rituals, volunteering initiatives, bedtime gratitude journaling, and more. Conveying precisely why developing this quality matters so profoundly is as important as the hands-on techniques. With some mindful effort, instilling an attitude of gratitude at a young age manifests lifelong positive returns.


“Thank you!” These two small words hold enormous power in shaping our children into more appreciative, empathetic, and confident human beings. An attitude of gratitude in kids not only helps them become more respectful; this quality also greatly contributes to their overall health, happiness, and life resilience. As parents and teachers, we have an incredible opportunity to plant and nurture this disposition right from a young, formative age.

What is an attitude of gratitude in kids?

The attitude of gratitude in kids refers to actively appreciating and giving thanks for the blessings in one’s life. This goes beyond merely saying “thank you” out of politeness. Gratitude is a mindset shift that intentionally directs a child’s attention to notice and reflect on the goodness they receive from people, experiences, and simple pleasures every day. It is a form of positive thinking that recognizes all the micro and macro ways one benefits from the care and support of others. Developing an attitude of gratitude changes how kids perceive themselves about the world around them. This quality reminds children that humans are interdependent, not independent beings. Cultivating gratitude from a young age equips youth with essential psychosocial tools like optimism, generosity, forgiveness, and empathy to help them thrive as individuals and community members. The earlier we expose children to regular grateful thinking, the sooner these cognitive patterns become rooted in their character.

The Benefits of Thankfulness for the Attitude of Gratitude in Kids

A mountain of research on gratitude reveals that thankful kids simply thrive more across the board. Students who regularly practice gratitude sleep better, get sick less often, feel more connected to others, and are more enthusiastic about school and life overall.

Let’s delve deeper into some of the key benefits that cultivating an attitude of gratitude yields:

Enhanced social skills and emotional intelligence

As the attitude of gratitude in kids develops, they become better at seeing situations from more positive perspectives. This allows them to interpret others’ intentions more generously, forging stronger social connections, empathy, and forgiveness.

Scientists from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley have extensively studied the effects of a grateful disposition on kids’ well-being. They found that expressing thanks boosts bonding oxytocin levels, which forges trust and cooperation within families, classrooms, teams, and communities.

Increased Happiness and Life Satisfaction

Of course, all parents and teachers wish for children to dwell in positive emotional spaces as much as possible. An attitude of gratitude directly nurtures more frequent feelings of joy, hope, pride, contentment, optimism, and other uplifting states.

Grateful kids quite simply have more reasons to smile—they see life itself as a gift and consciously appreciate the little delights each day offers. They take failure and setbacks much more in stride, thanks to reserves of psychosocial strengths built up inside.

Augmented Academic Motivation and Perseverance

For students navigating intense academic pressures today, a regular gratitude practice fortifies inner resilience to keep pushing through daily workloads and assessments. It reminds children that learning itself is a blessing made possible only through the dedicated efforts of caring schools and teachers. Understanding this interdependence expands positive sentiments toward education overall.

An attitude of gratitude also boosts conscientiousness, curiosity, and determination in students—qualities directly tied to academic success. Finding meaningful relevance and joy in studies further reinforces youth’s intrinsic motivation to actively participate and give their best effort.

attitude of gratitude in kids

Diminished anxiety and depression

In tandem with the elevated levels of hopefulness and life satisfaction described above, grateful thinking lowers incidents of anxiety and depression in kids. Both clinical research and self-reported wellness surveys demonstrate these correlations time and again.

Centering one’s mind more on blessings than burdens reorients attention toward the positive dimensions of life. Over time, this builds up psychological resilience that makes coping with adversity much more manageable for youth.

Fortified Long-Term Health

Incredibly, even physical health receives an upgrade from habitual grateful thinking! Studies reveal decreased inflammation in gratitude practitioners, which reduces the presentation of cancer, heart disease, dementia, and other inflammation-related illnesses. Blood pressure, fatigue, stomach issues, and even pain tolerance all show improvement as well.

Guiding Children to Recognize Blessings

Regularly flexing one’s gratitude muscles produces an array of holistic wellness benefits for the attitude of gratitude in kids and teens. The earlier we begin engaging kids in structured, grateful thinking, the sooner they reap rewards over the long run. But how exactly can we guide our youth to become more acquainted with blessings in their everyday lives?

Inviting Classroom Gratitude Practices

Teachers have the special opportunity to inspire gratitude daily through classroom rituals, lessons, and activities woven into their normal routines. Dedicate a gratitude bulletin board for students to pin up thank-you notes or artwork given by classmates, parents, cafeteria staff, custodians, and other community members.

Place a gratitude box or jar prominently where students can drop in anonymous appreciation for one another. Make a habit of pulling one note out a day for a positive shout-out. Foster students’ writing skills by having them regularly pen thank-you notes, uplifting poems, or shortlisted good things they noticed that week.

When learning about other cultures, explore their unique practices for conveying gratitude as a gateway into greater cross-cultural exchange. Discover how signatures of thanks differ around the globe, from hand-folded origami cranes in Japan to tilting one’s smile toward the sun in Tibet.

Giving back together also potently stirs up empathy and caring concern for other people in the community. Organize an age-appropriate volunteering initiative at the food bank, children’s hospital, animal shelter, or park cleanup. Guide students to reflect afterward on how fulfilling it feels to help make the world around us a little brighter.

Family dinnertime and bedtime rituals with an attitude of gratitude in kids

Parents can adopt family rituals anchored around sharing Thanksgiving, especially during the natural gathering times of meals and bedtime when everyone is together. Keep a gratitude journal on the kitchen counter or fridge where family members can add entries about something or someone they feel grateful for from the day. Revisit highlights together at dinnertime, taking turns to keep thanks flowing around the table.

Close out the day by exchanging grateful high-fives, fist bumps, or hugs before the kids’ bedtime. Help them recap three good things that happened that day and why, savoring the memories. Have them keep their gratitude notebook on the nightstand to scribble and doodle their daily inventory of blessings and delights before turning out the light.

Conveying why developing this quality matters

Alongside whatever creative techniques we devise to immerse the attitude of gratitude in kids in the gratitude experience, it is equally essential that we convey exactly why nurturing this quality matters so profoundly. Gratitude is not just about politeness or following expectations; it entirely transforms how we perceive and engage with the world around us.

First, gratitude fosters within us all a deeper realization that we did not come into being solely by our own doing. Rather, through the love and care of untold others spanning back generations, the miracle of this present life and breath becomes possible. Appreciating interdependence promotes prosocial values central to strong families, schools, and societies: empathy, generosity, and compassion.

Additionally, ample research shows that grateful thinking offers tremendous physical and psychological upsides. Thankful minds boost immune health, diminish anxiety and depression, elevate happiness, and forge more trusting, forgiving relationships over the long term. Who wouldn’t wish these holistic wellness amplifiers for their children?

For today’s youth navigating immense social and environmental uncertainties, building this psychological muscle inoculates them to better handle difficulties sure to arise. Possessing reserves of goodwill, support, and resilient thinking makes confronting frustrations, disappointments, and grief far more bearable.

Additional common questions (FAQs)

  1. What is an attitude of gratitude for kids?

    It’s about teaching kids to see and appreciate both the small things and the big moments. When kids learn to be grateful, they tend to handle tough times better, bounce back from setbacks more quickly, and just generally feel good about life.

  2. What is gratitude simple for kids?

    Gratitude is when you feel thankful for the good things in your life. This could be stuff people often take for granted, like having a place to live, food, clean water, friends, and family. Gratitude is taking a moment to reflect on how lucky you are when something good happens, whether it’s small or big.

  3. Why is gratitude so powerful for kids?

    It can pave the way for hopeful possibilities, decisions, and actions. Gratitude can balance out challenging emotions. Even when your child is having a hard day, encouraging them to identify some good things in their life can help them feel a little bit better.

  4. What is gratitude an attitude?

    An attitude of gratitude means making the conscious habit of expressing appreciation regularly for big and small things alike. We may be grateful for our relationships, health, business, material items, food in our cupboards, running water in our homes, and our overall sense of well-being.

  5. Why do we teach gratitude to children?

    There are so many reasons! One is that it may be a value that your family holds dear — being grateful for what we have. But gratitude practice also has health benefits, even for kids — including less stress, better sleep, improved optimism, better relationships, and less reported anxiety and depression.


By imparting to kids early on the profound significance of eyeing blessings rather than burdens swirling around us, we illuminate a steady path for them to tread through both sunny days and storms. Our words, examples, and encouragement today plant seeds in young, impressionable hearts that will continue ripening for years to come. Though nurturing gratitude in children does require some mindful effort and patience initially, the bountiful fruits it bears are well worth our dedicated cultivation.

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