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This week, many Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving.

This provides an opportune time to reflect on the benefits of practicing gratitude.  This year has been challenging for so many people, on so many different levels.  Maybe we just feel grateful that 2021 is almost ending!

It is also important before the full holiday season kicks in, which can be overwhelmingly busy and consumer focused, to celebrate feeling connected and appreciated.

Practicing gratitude, which essentially means consciously appreciating what is going well in our lives, has been proven to strengthen and impact on both your mental and physical health.

I passionately believe that a ‘gratitude mindset’ is one of the most powerful values we can model to our children and it has been proven to increase positive thinking.

How can you do that in a meaningful way, without overplaying it and, particularly  if you have teens, avoid being met with some eye rolling?

Sitting around the table with your children and asking them each to say what they are grateful for, could mistakenly create pressure and block some of the advantages of practicing gratitude.

It may be preferable to write it down and have an official ‘Family Gratitude Journal’ or ‘Gratitude Jar’

Always start by modelling gratitude and regularly sharing with your children what you are grateful for.  I always use my message in their birthday cards as an opportunity to explain why I am grateful to have them in my lives.

What practice have you, or could you instil to make gratitude an authentic ritual and an essential part of your family’s soul?


Some further practical ideas here