Social Emotional Newsletter
During difficult times it can be particularly important to appreciate the good things in your life. It can move you away from the edge of grief or stress by shifting your perspective to the positive. Appreciation for the natural world can be particularly powerful. By noticing the larger world around us, we can broaden our point of view so that the smaller issues and worries can feel less daunting. This change in our viewpoint can brighten our outlook. It requires time for reflection and can increase optimism, both of which can boost our mental health.
Like with most things, practice can make gratitude easier and help it to become a natural part of your routine. It stems from the survival mode of helping others and being helped in return. Gratitude is deeply internal but can be expressed outwardly. It is a choice and can affect those around us by enriching our relationships and helping others to feel appreciated. Recognizing what others do for us and showing gratitude builds and strengthens connections. You can let someone know today, and every day, how much you appreciate their help or role in your life.
Let's make practicing gratitude a fun experience for our families! There are many fun ways to express your gratitude together!
- Talk to kids about what you are grateful for. Model for them what it means to be grateful and how to show it to others.
- Acknowledge that you are thankful for them. Let them know when they have done something good and thank them for it.
- The “Best Thing” Game
Play the best thing about game. Think of a person, a situation, a place, and take turns saying things like “The best thing about _____ is _____.” Example: “The best thing about my church is the music we sing.”
- Giving Thanks with Popcorn!
Put popcorn in the microwave and have children shout out something for which each child is grateful when you hear the sound of the kernels popping. Keep going until the popping stops!
- Write letters or cards to people in your life that you are grateful for. Talk about why you are grateful for that person!
- Create a gratitude playlist of songs. Songs that make you think about being thankful. Play them together as a family.
- Make a Thankfulness Window
Start a stained glass gratitude window each month or season. Tear up pieces of different colored tissue paper, and keep them in a basket or a box. Then have children write down something they are grateful for on each piece of paper. Tape the pieces to a window that gets lots of sun, and watch the window’s design evolve over time.
- Complete a gratitude scavenger hunt. Come up with a list of different things you are thankful for (a smell you are thankful for, a color you are thankful for, a toy, etc...) See the pictures below for ideas!
- Create a gratitude jar! Place random people, places and things on small pieces of paper in a jar! Pull one out and take turns explaining why you are thankful for each item!
- Or create a jar where every time you experience gratitude you write it down and put it in the jar. Share them at a special time as a family such as dinner time or before bed!