Gratitude and the art of being thankful everyday

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness; it can also be defined in psychology as an emotion expressing appreciation for what you have. It is believed that gratitude can be learned and cultivated.

Young children and adolescent learn from adults and most often reproduce what they either see and/or hear at home from parents, TV/radio shows, magazines , school, places they go to or from digital information; nevertheless by remembering these few tips, you will help teach your children to develop a thankful heart and gently remind them to:

1) Be thankful every morning for another day to make a positive difference

2) Greet family members "good morning" and get ready for school promptly

3) Say "Please" and "Thank you" whenever asked for something and also when given something also not force parents to buy expensive or inappropriate items

4) Keep a smile on the face

5) Complete daily homework, chores and extracurricular activities without complaining

6) Eat their food, drink water before juice or soda and compliment the cook

7) Not judge and get mad at others quickly: remembering that everyone is going through something and sometimes they are not attentive or can come across as hurtful with their words or actions just because something is making them feel sad inside.

8) Help someone everyday ( hold the door, get the table ready, explain the assignments to a classmate, carry the groceries bags...)

9) Answer questions others ask politely without annoyance

10) Keep a gratitude journal and write at least 3 items to be grateful for and as you count your blessings and name them one by one, you will be surprised how blessed you are!)

As we are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, it's important to remember to be thankful for all we have been blessed with starting with the gift of life and health, family and friends, food and shelter, water and light, teachers and mentors, opportunities and a chance to do better when we make mistakes.

Suzanne Belibi, M.D.

Pediatrician and Youth mentor


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