Remember a time when we were so filled with gratitude—when something went so well—that we needed to pinch ourselves to make sure it wasn’t just an amazing dream! What is stopping us from taking the vitality of that moment and navigating the rest of our lives with this profound appreciation? With a mindset augmented by thankfulness, our energy manifests as bliss, inspiring reciprocity of the same with all encounters. American poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Gratitude gives way to a sense of calm, encouraging us to be more sensitive towards others; more amiable, caring, and relatable. In today’s fast-paced world, with so much emphasis on performance, expressions of gratitude help us embrace humility as we realize we cannot do everything by ourselves. By acknowledging our human interdependence, we receive the gifts of goodwill and inner peace.
Help Children Understand the Value of “Thank You”
Even before they learn to speak, we can teach children concepts of gratitude. Smiles and gestures of appreciation can inspire them to start saying “thank you” by the time they are two years old. These simple words can uplift everyone within earshot. When appropriate, saying, “thank you” or writing thank you notes can teach children to realize how good it can feel to offer gratitude.
Benefits of Gratitude
Physically, gratitude leads to stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, fewer aches and pains, more exercise, and better sleep. Physiologically, gratitude elicits increased positivity, joy, pleasure, optimism, and happiness. Socially, gratitude stimulates our desire to engage one another, while at the same time, it suppresses our tendencies toward isolation.
How to Teach Children to Be Grateful
Manners are crucially important. Saying “please” and “thank you” should be non-negotiable standard procedure in every household. As appropriate, lend someone a helping hand—as humans—this is our God-given responsibility. Volunteering time or money truly can make a positive difference and uplift others. Give compliments, send thank you cards, and be the light. Savor thankfulness, from when we first awaken, to when we close our eyes for our nightly rest, smiling for what we do have.
As Matthew McConaughey said during his 2014 Oscar speech for Best Actor, “It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.” This all-powerful emotion instills respect for the past, recognition for the present, and vision for the future, allowing our hearts to be illuminated by the inner peace of thankfulness.
“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
—Psalm 118:29 KJV
The sun on your face. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy.
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks—the question is, where to begin? From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what’s most important is being able to share them with family.
No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. “My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks
The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, readers are inspired to cherish life’s special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.
Jeremy wants a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seem to be wearing. Grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need.” When his old shoes fall apart, he wants those shoes more than ever, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has—warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend—are worth more than the things he wants.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.