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Families & Children September 2016
September – A Month of Gratitude
Spiritual Practices: Gratitude
The spiritual practice of gratitude has been called a state of mind and a way of life. But we prefer to think of it as a grammar — an underlying structure that helps us construct and make sense out of our lives. The rules of this grammar cover all our activities. Its syntax reveals a system of relationships linking us to the divine and to every other part of the creation.
September 21 Is World Gratitude Day
Teaching Thankfulness to Toddlers
The concept of thankfulness can be difficult to explain to young children, but there are fun and age-appropriate ways to express the meaning of thankfulness for all the gifts that God has given.
Take turns naming what you're thankful for while someone blows bubbles. This fun prayer encourages family members to think fast.
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can have positive effects – from an increased sense of well-being, to a desire to be helpful, to greater energy. Now is the perfect time to remind children why they should be thankful for what they have and appreciative of who they are. Every evening you can ask each other these two questions: What are you thankful for today? What are you looking forward to tomorrow? Most often time with family, outings with parents, or amazing natural wonders (shooting stars!) are the answers to these simple questions. From blessings big to small, you can also help instill an attitude of gratitude with this book.
21 Days of Gratitude Prompts
To fully live, we must embrace the small miracles of the moment.
22 Gratitude Exercises
Let’s be a little more grateful today. Did you know that studies show that practicing gratitude can increase your happiness levels by about 25 percent? This fact was reported by Robert Emmons, PhD–one of the world’s foremost experts on gratitude– in his book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
Make a Gratitude Box
A thankful heart is a happy heart. When we take time to count our blessings, thank others for their generosity, and reflect on God’s hand in our lives, we find joy. We find peace. And we find that even the darkest days have blessings tucked within. Create a Gratitude Box that will foster these values in your family, and keep practical items, like thank-you notes and envelopes, easy to find when needed.
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