Gratitude involves both feeling and expressing our thankfulness; it means we show our appreciation for others. According to the Harvard Healthbeat, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” For a seven-year-old, gratitude includes recognizing how others help, expressing thanks to others for this help, and identifying and talking about things that make them feel thankful.
Character Beyond “Thank You:” Helping Your Seven-Year-Old Understand and Express Gratitude
Three tips to get your child in the habit of expressing gratefulness:
Children imitate adult behavior. In your daily interactions, model saying "thank you" to store clerks, teachers, librarians and family members. Encourage your child to follow suit. When you write a thank you note to someone they know, let them add a picture or dictate a few words. As they get older, encourage them to write their own thank you cards or make thank you gifts for people who have touched their lives, such as teachers, coaches or community helpers.
Create a Gratitude Jar
A gratitude jar is as simple as it sounds. You need a large clear jar, a stack of sticky notes and a pen. Have each family member write (or draw) something that they are grateful for a few times a week. It can be small things, like a favorite food, or big things, like time spent with a grandparent. At the end of the week, read the gratitude slips together as a family.
Share "Three Good Things" Each Day
As a family, make it a ritual to share three good things that happened that day. This is a perfect way to connect at dinnertime or bedtime. Simply ask children, "What made you happy today? What are you thankful for?" And don't forget to share your own reflections, modeling for your kids a daily attitude of gratitude for the small things in life.
Build Good Character Skills with Arthur
Whether facing down a bully, worrying about a new teacher or being the very last person on earth to lose his baby teeth, Arthur and his friends manage to solve their crises with imagination, kindness and a lot of humor.Find Activities
Activity Finder: Learn With Your Seven-Year-Old
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Working together to play or build a game can help your child understand that sometimes the best games are those in which everyone works together.
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Play at Home With Daniel
Playing is learning as your child explores everyday experiences such as going to the doctor and practicing bedtime and bathtime routines.
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Elmo's School Friends
Elmo wants to play with his friends at school, but discovers that each friend is having trouble with their playtime task. In this game, your child can choose a friend to play with and then decide how to best solve his friends' problems such as stacking a high tower of blocks, cleaning up spilled toys, or deciding who gets a special dress up outfit.