This time of year, thankfulness and gratitude are top of mind. It’s easy to think of all the blessings in our lives during this season of friends, family and fun.

And, as parents, we are probably thinking of how we can raise grateful, thankful children.

There’s no more important role model in your child’s life than YOU. As parents, we have power to teach our kids to be thankful at every turn! It’s in the little things we do and say every day that make a surprising impact. Here are some ways to be more present and aware of how to encourage gratitude in our little ones as we celebrate this holiday season (and all year long)!

Slow Down

We’re all busy being parents, and it’s easy to rush. But when we rush, we can miss all the beauty in day-to-day life. By taking time to savor the small moments, like a cuddle on the couch before school, or a funny text with friends – and really appreciate them – we can become more aware and appreciative of the small blessings in our lives.

Rushing through life to get to the next thing can have the effect of causing us to miss out on the experience.

So, try to savor the journey and not rush to the next destination! You’ll teach your kids that getting there is half the fun. And that’s something to celebrate!

Break Out The Compliments

Have you ever heard your offspring say something that sounds exactly like something you would say, and were caught a little off guard? Make sure they’re mimicking as much of the good stuff as possible! The more often you dish out compliments and praise to others, the more often little ears realize it is part of regular conversation, and will do it themselves. That’s why it’s important to implement gratitude into your daily routine.

Praise Your Kids

Whenever your daughter does something nice, let her know you noticed: “It was very thoughtful of you to let your sister use the bathroom first.” Acknowledge when she is kind in routine decisions. Got out the door without nagging her to put shoes on in the school-day rush? “You were very responsible in getting things together this morning, thank you!” As parents, it’s our job to “fill up their buckets,” so to speak, so they have plenty of confidence and self-esteem. The more you recognize the good, the more your kids will want to DO good.

Look For The Good

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be easy to focus on the negative. But a subtle shift in your mindset can really turn your day – and our outlook – around. It may not come easily at first, but the more often you’re able to find that silver lining in frustrating or annoying situations, the more often your mini-me will grow accustomed to doing the same. Even if you’re having a hard time finding the positive side of things, don’t vocalize the negative. When the focus is purposely on the brighter side of things, it’s easier to see through the dark moments.

And that’s a lesson of resilience that your children will carry with them for life.

Give To Others

As with learning any other skill, repetition is key — and gratitude is certainly a life skill! The more kids see us doing nice things on a daily basis, the more they will notice and appreciate the thoughtful things done for them. You could offer to rake a neighbor’s leaves from their yard, bake a cake with the kids to surprise Grandma and Grandpa with for their anniversary, or randomly pay for the person behind you in the drive-through on one of those super-busy days. By giving a golden experience to others, we are sharing our blessings and showing gratitude.

Giving to others feels good and it’s something we need to teach, as parents. We promise, you’ll burst with pride watching your littles be generous to friends, family and even people you meet while out and about.

Gratitude at Goldfish

At Goldfish Swim School, we are thankful every day for the wonderful children and families who come through our doors! In return, we make sure to provide WOW! customer service and train our staff and instructors to treat everyone with integrity, compassion and trust. We have locations all over the country, so there’s bound to be one by you. Come check us out!