It’s that time of year that brings a lot of festive cheer. Christmas and New Year is also a time to teach your kids the importance of gratitude. Gratitude is the art of giving conscious thanks for all that we have, all that we don’t have, and the things that we usually take for granted such as the roof over our heads, food, water, electricity, parents, friends and teachers. Gratitude starts with noticing the goodness in life.
Gratitude, if practised daily from a very young age, has many mental, emotional and physical benefits for children. It allows them to be grateful for the littlest of things in life, and to appreciate and acknowledge all their privileges. It helps them live a healthier and happier life, free of stress, and makes them feel happy and cheerful inside and out. It helps them build better relationships with themselves and others, and develop a helping nature at a younger age. “Children as young as 15 months can begin to grasp concepts that lead to gratitude,” says child psychologist Dr Shyamala Sundari. “By age four, children can understand being thankful not only for material things like toys but also for acts of kindness, love, and caring.” She adds that one cannot expect children to develop gratitude overnight. “It takes months of constant practice and motivation,” she says.
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