The character trait we are building and working on this month is gratitude. Gratitude is feeling thankful for what we have, recognizing our blessings (material or nonmaterial), and showing appreciation through acknowledging and/or returning the gesture. There are many studies that suggest gratitude is strongly linked to mental and physical health, and life satisfaction. Students who feel and express gratitude have stronger relationships and feel happier overall. Furthermore, students showing high levels of gratitude reported having stronger academic success, less depression and a more positive life outlook. As parent, this is a train you are most likely working on at home too.
One way to develop gratitude is by starting a gratitude journal. Share with your children what you are grateful for. As a family, add to your list every day. Help your children see sometimes events don’t go the way they thought they would, and sometimes we don’t get everything we want, but we can still be grateful and positive.
Help your children show their gratitude with kind words, little notes or post-its, and other genuine ways to show they are thankful for the good things that come their way.
Gratitude seems to work like a muscle, and the more we practice and develop gratitude, the stronger we get. Dr. Philip Watkins found that students not accustomed to showing gratitude make tremendous gains and quickly become better at showing gratitude the more they make a deliberate effort in expressing their gratefulness.
I would like to express my gratitude to you, our families, for working with us to help our students learn and grow. I am blessed and grateful every day for having the opportunity to be an educator and work with the children of our community. Thank you!