Fostering a family culture of gratitude pays huge dividends, now and later. Studies have shown that gratitude, more than any other characteristic, has the greatest impact on life satisfaction. Gratitude has been linked with an enhanced sense of social protection and support. It’s also a great predictor of optimistic, positive kids as they hit their adolescent years.
Grateful kids also earn higher grades, use their strengths to improve the lives of others, and remain more engaged in their home and school lives. But how do we foster a family culture of gratitude in a material world? Here are three ways to get started.
1. Practicing Mindfulness
The most important gift that we can give our children is our time. There’s no better way to teach our kids about the language of love. So, let’s use opportunities together to practice mindfulness by savoring every moment. That means avoiding distractions such as electronics and televisions.
Instead of attempting to multitask, let’s give our kids our full attention. Together, we’ll gain a greater appreciation for the things our children love, and we’ll strengthen our relationships, one soul-stirring moment at a time. After all, the ultimate goal of this life is collecting memories, not things.
2. Lending a Helping Hand
The recipe for grateful kids requires two main ingredients: generosity and empathy. So, let’s find charity events and volunteer with our kids. This can be as simple as helping to create care packages for the homeless or helping to serve a holiday meal.
When our kids get involved in activities that give back to the community, they’ll feel more connected to those they’re helping. (And so will you.) Our kids will learn how to empathize, and they’ll come to understand that people, not things, matter most. Besides lending a helping hand, let’s remind our children to be thoughtful of others and appreciative of what they have.
3. Helping Kids Identify Their Strengths
Another great way to foster a family culture of gratitude is by helping our kids identify their unique strengths. When we encourage them to use these strengths whenever possible to help others, this enables our kids to grow. We provide them with the opportunities to continue honing and improving upon their strengths while practicing kindness towards others.
When we help our kids use their talents to brighten others’ days, we teach our kids to make connections between the things they love most and other human beings. This is a powerful lesson that will follow our kids throughout their lives. It’ll build confidence, generosity, and gratitude all at once.
A Family Culture of Gratitude
We’ve all got so much to be grateful for. But it’s easy for a family culture of gratitude to get lost in the mix, especially during the holiday season. Consumerism and materialism can leave us feeling dissatisfied and drained. After all, things never really make us happy. That’s why it’s time to start focusing on making memories instead of storing up objects.
At Our Whole Village, raising globally-minded children is our passion. We create accessible tours designed for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft to introduce kids to the world and create better global citizens.