How do you practice gratitude as a family? Is it something that’s a part of your daily routine or your conversations with each other? If not, perhaps that’s something to consider making a part of your family’s daily schedule. Gratitude and mindfulness can be introduced to your children at any time and at any age. Below find some times on ways to help incorporate gratitude and mindfulness into your family’s routine.

1. Start first thing in the morning. This is as especially good tip for those of you with children who are toddlers. When you go in their room to wake them up in the morning, have them open the curtains with you and say, “Good morning, world!” Each of you should say something you notice about how beautiful the day looks outside. Is the sky filled with streaks of color at dawn? Are the trees green or orange with color? What are the things you and your child notice in the moment that make you feel good and happy? This will help not only in setting a tone for the day, but also in developing a sharp eye for observation and understanding how to access gratitude over simple joys.

2. Write it down. With school-aged children, have them pick out or decorate a pretty notebook and call it their gratitude journal. At the end of the day, have them write at least three things that happened during the day for which they are grateful. It can be as simple as making their friend laugh to doing a cartwheel in the park. Chances are, once your child gets started writing, they’ll end up with way more than three things a day for which they are grateful.

3. Read about it. Learn how to cultivate gratitude and train yourself to be more present by reading books centered around mindfulness. Author M. J. Ryan’s book “Attitudes of Gratitude” teaches us that “Gratitude creates happiness because it makes us feel full, complete; gratitude is the realization that we have everything we need, at least at this moment.” In addition to Ryan’s wise words, the book is also filled with quotes of advice on gratitude, happiness, and mindfulness from some of the world’s greatest minds.

4. Craft it. I once left a family of five, who needed help with several family issues, with homework. Their homework was to make paper chain links of gratitude. They would write on the link and link each of the paper chain links together every day. I came back a month later and saw such a shift in their attitude and focus due to them being more mindful of the things in their life they were grateful for as a family. Just think if we all spent 5 minutes doing that?

5. Feel it in the moment. As you go through your day, briefly pause throughout it and find something you’re doing or seeing and appreciate it. No matter how simple the thing, item, or act is, recognize it as it’s happening and it will cultivate a sense of joy within yourself. The more you practice present mindfulness, the more happiness you’ll feel throughout your day. And that happiness radiates out to those around you.

6. Don’t stop. As you and your family begin to see results of the various ways you are practicing gratitude, keep it going. Don’t lose momentum. Gratitude and mindfulness is a never-ending process and the more you do it (and the more consistently you practice it) the better you will feel. Practicing gratitude has been known to help improve mood, reduce stress, and increase your level of happiness.

You and your family don’t just have to stick to one particular way of incorporating gratitude and mindfulness into your daily lives. Mix it up. Try it all. Experiment with it. It should be you joy and not stress over “was I mindful enough today?” There aren’t any rules to what works and what doesn’t and how many times a day you should be mindful. So relax and begin to take notice of the world around you and the things (both large and small) from which you and your family derive pleasure.

With much gratitude, Jo x

Copywritten by Jo Frost

Share this:

More in this category: Teaching Values » Exaggerating » Tantrums » Selective Hearing » Aggression » Are We There Yet? » Terrorism – How to Talk to Our Children About It » Encourage Reading » Keeping in Touch When Away » Discipline » Winding Down Tips Before Bed Time » Stepmom Struggles (Fake Cry) » Stalling Over Mealtimes » Child Anxiety » Sleep Transition » Work and Home Balance » Peek-a-Boo » Let’s Talk About Sex » Confidence for Pre-School » BACK TO SCHOOL » Encouraging Children to Come Out of Their Shells » Spring has Sprung — Let’s Get Active! » Meet the New SAHM: the Work-From-Home Parent » Kids Talk About Love » Turning Winter Blues into Sunshine for the Children » Spending Holiday Time with Family » Change the World, Give Back » Zero Tolerance Bullying » The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Back-to-School » For Playdates & Parties, Don’t be a Helicopter Parent » Disciplining Other People’s Children » Making the Most of Your Summer with the Kids… » Children and Accountability » Settling In Nicely » One With Nature » Valentine’s Day » Charging Into 2015 » 10 Holiday Questions (and Answers!) » Balance On the Work and Home Seesaw » And So To Bed… » Ready for Nursery » A Time of First Milestones » Eating Habits » HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! » When is YOUR Child Considered Potty Trained? » Child Abuse Prevention Month » Excerpt from Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules » With Love » The Art of Being » Holidays on a Budget » Dealing with Life Transitions » Halloween Crafts » Who Needs Sleep? Everyone! » How Much Attention Should We Give Our Kids? » Young Girls and Self-Esteem » Anxiety, Depression and Teens » A Personal Note About Food Allergies » Gay Parenting » Eating Out with Kids » Flu Season » Plan of Action » Baby, It’s [Getting] Cold Outside » Encouraging Your Child’s Social Skills » Medical Alert » Planes, Trains, And Automobiles: Travel Tips for Children of All Ages » Father’s Day Activities » A Mother’s Day for YOU » Limiting Your Child’s Screen/Tech Time » Letting Go: Mother, Not Smother » Getting Sexy Back After Baby » Introducing A Babysitter » Jo’s Tips For Being Penny-Wise This Holiday Season » Adoption Month » The Importance of Sleep » Parenting Solo » Stay Cool » Household Chores » Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care Book Excerpt » How Do I Play? » Jo’s April Editorial » Jo’s Editorial » When Technology Is Ok » Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading? » Calling All New (or soon-to-be) Moms & Dads! » Jo’s Three Nursery Golden Rules » “We Never Have Sex Anymore!” » How your child behaves is your responsibility » How to deal with your Toddler » My son has a problem in the toilet » My 15 month old son will not sleep » My 4 year child is telling me “I hate you” » Work with your baby’s body clock » Starting fresh for the New Year » Twelve Thoughts for Christmas » Naughty chair/spot correct way? » A New Mom To Be » Baby waking too often » How much sleep does she need » Pick me up! » DESPERATE for help!!! » Three year old daughter won’t let others help » How to get my five year old son to stay dry all night long » How to explain death » No more nappies?!!! » Need to Pack On The Pounds.. » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » guilt trip or more serious? » My 12 month old doesn’t like to nap in daytime » Big Issues with my 15 year old » Time Out Follow-up » Tummy time! » How do I best help my 18 month old to STTN? » My son won’t use cutlery » 6 year old Reader » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » Child won’t drink from sippy cup or cup… » 3 1/2 month old’s sleeping difficulties » Ouch!! » Transition to a new room » Fear of bed time » 10 months – too young to sleep through? » Is it too early for reins? » 3 year old and new puppy » Toddler forcing himself to vomit » Potty Training » I’m a nanny and need help!!! » Help getting my 18 month old to talk » How do I know when to start weaning?? » 3 1/2 yr old daughter wont stop SCREAMING!!!! » Naughty Step Becomes a Game » TEEN IN DESPRATE NEED OF JO’S HELP!!!! » Please Help! » Daily Routine » STUDY HABITS » Paci still a problem » 4 1/2 month old: Should he be eating? » Three-year-old son sleeps only in our bed »

Hey, before you leave...

Don't miss out on the opportunity to get the upcoming scoop!

Please take 10 secs to fill in, you’ll be glad you did!
Read previous post:
November Giveaway

Just in time for winter and the holidays, this giveaway includes two classic tales that were recently republished in these...