Youth Alternatives: How to teach gratitude

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - Research has shown that gratitude improves mental AND physical health. It lowers stress, promotes better sleep, reduces aggression, and enhances relationships.

With everything being about ME, ME, ME, how do we teach our kids to be grateful for what they have?

Here are some steps to help our kids understand that their cup isn’t half empty or half full, but may in fact, be flowing over:

-Practice Gratitude Yourself
Be a model of gratitude for your children. Express sincere appreciation for things in your life and your family. Find one or two things daily that you share your gratitude for. Model manners. Please and thank you are important stepping stones for an attitude of gratitude.

-Pay Attention to the Cool Things In Your Life
Slow down and smell the roses. Pay attention to the people and things in your life. Take the time to point them out to your children.

-Establish some Gratitude Rituals
Have everyone go around the dinner table with something they are thankful for on a daily basis. Make it a bed time ritual or a daily check in. What happened in your day that was good? If something bad happened, can you find the good in it? Instead of What’s the Worst that Could Happen? Play What’s the Best that Could Happen?