Parent approaches to foster a gratitude mindset in children

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Studies have shown that gratitude has led to improved sleep quality and has decreased symptoms of unexplained aches and pains, according to healthychildren.org.

 Parent approaches to foster a gratitude mindset in children | Image Credit: © John Doe - © John Doe - stock.adobe.com.

Parent approaches to foster a gratitude mindset in children | Image Credit: © John Doe - © John Doe - stock.adobe.com.

Gratitude has an impact on overall wellbeing, an increasing number of studies are revealing, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) healthychildren.org website. Benefits in physical, emotional, and overall health have resulted from gratitude, according to these findings.

The AAP website has listed several ways to help nurture gratitude in children from a parent perspective. These tips can be shared with your patients’ parents to help create a “to-do” and “to-learn” mentality.

One strategy to instill gratitude is to focus on the good of the day, or what aspects of the day went “right.” At bedtime, parents can take a few minutes to write down and showcase at least 1 thing or part of the day that the family can be grateful for.

The AAP states that studies have shown gratitude has led to improved sleep quality and has decreased symptoms of unexplained aches and pains. A positive outlook can be promoted for the child if they focus on the positive parts of the day, each day.

Another way to include gratitude day-to-day is to be grateful every day, not just around Thanksgiving. Talking about the people the child is grateful for, and why, can have a positive impact.

Advise the parents to be thankful with sincere verbal or written expressions. Thanking others can help increase self-esteem, mental strength, and create positive social behaviors, which could lead to sharing and other situations in which the child could be helpful.

Helping others who need it is also a way to develop gratitude. Encouraging children and teenagers to take active steps to a serviced-focused mindset can help develop skills that can help later in life.

Parents should help the child find a cause they are interested in and encourage them to participate. The AAP uses volunteering at a nursing home or raising money for charity as examples.

The last tip is for parents to be a role model as well. The parents can show the child appreciation on a regular basis, allowing the child the opportunity to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

A few minutes per day practicing gratitude in a family dynamic can have a positive impact on stressful situations. It is more effective when incorporated into an overall wellness plan for the family, one that focuses on sleeping, screen time, healthy eating, and daily physical activity.

Reference:

Munshi D. How to practice gratitude & improve your family’s mental health. Healthy Children. November 10, 2022. Accessed November 22, 2023. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/how-to-practice-gratitude.aspx

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