The key to being happy and raising happy kids is to practice gratitude consciously and consistently. Gratitude is the opposite of entitlement. Entitlement is what makes us feel disappointed when we don't get what we think we wanted or needed, rather than being grateful for what we received.                                    

Here are three of our favorite gratitude exercises.

  1. On Thanksgiving, have the kids make place cards for everyone at the dinner table with the person’s name on one side leaving the other side blank. Have everyone write something they love about each person on the back of their cards, then take turns reading the cards aloud.
  2. Snap a photo of something beautiful or inspiring that makes you feel especially grateful. Don’t show it to anyone … but look at it every time you feel crabby about not getting something you want. Teach your children this tip too.
  3. Ask your kids to tell you about “three good things...” things that happened that day, things they did for others, things someone did for them. It’s called “counting your blessings”.

Does your family have any favorite gratitude exercises? Share them with us in a comment!

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