During the month of November, we talk a lot about giving and being thankful.
Research shows that the benefits of practicing generosity and gratitude include – increased health and well-being, greater sense of optimism, life satisfaction, and social connection – to name a few. Because these practices improve our lives, it is no wonder that we want to help children understand the importance of giving and being thankful.
The most powerful way to teach children to give and be grateful is through modeling generosity and gratitude in our daily life. If we want children to give to others, we must give. If we want children to be grateful, we must express gratitude.
One of the major benefits of belonging to a cooperative school is that children directly experience giving and gratitude as parents, children and teachers work together.
Here’s one way we practice gratitude at Hobson….
While you hear many “Thank Yous’ every day at Hobson, our community created a “We are Thankful For….” wreath to invite even more conversation about gratitude.
The wreath is in the foyer of our school, so families pass it as they arrive and depart each day. A small sign invites people to pick a clothespin and write what they are thankful for with a marker. It is wonderful watch the wreath fill with gratitudes both big and small. When you read the contributions, you are reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. This simple invitation has created moments of connection between families beyond “Hello” and “Goodbye”, as they stop at the door to talk about what they are grateful for. Today, one parent explained to a child that…
Thankfulness “is something that makes your heart so full and happy”. -Hobson Parent
If you are looking for more ideas on how to foster gratitude, check out the article Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude in Kids from University of California Berkeley Greater Good Science Center’s “Expanding Gratitude” project. This is just one of many great articles to check out on this website. Enjoy!
“It is through relationships that we build our sense of belonging in the world. So much of our human relationships are about giving, receiving, repaying – that is how we are connected to one another.”