Our community values gratitude. Brené Brown’s research underscores the fact that gratitude nurtures joy and thus, like any academic subject, gratitude is something to be practiced each day.
This year, we are celebrating our community traditions a little more distanced. It is the season for gratitude and we hope that it can continue as a regular part of our daily lives, beyond this month. Inspired by the great wish trees of the world, we will be adding gratitude notes to our gratitude tree this week. View our Gratitude Celebration Photo Album!
We will also have a zoom “Gratitude Feast” later this week. It is for parents, teachers, and students to give virtual hugs in a casual and short zoom meeting. In a typical year, we would be gathering in-person, sharing our family recipes, playing games, and celebrating our community.
Another gratitude practice at TKG includes a regular gratitude circle. Recently, our classrooms have been having small gratitude circle in their pods and we will invite families to our virtual circle this week.
We will keep nurturing our traditions!
Some interesting things about Gratitude:
Gratitude is the ability to recognize, acknowledge, and respond positively for benefits we receive & for benefactors in our lives (see “Making Grateful Kids,” below). The benefits of practicing gratitude align with TKG’s values of healthy brain & body development, cooperative learning, and building social and emotional skills. While typical education models value IQ (intelligence quotient) over EQ (emotional intelligence quotient), we believe that an educational environment that nurtures a sense of belonging and hope for potential – can improve the way we experience life and positively influence our personal narrative.
All children need supportive and trusting relationships to grow. When we model “practicing” gratitude, we strengthen relationships that influence personal engagement, positive relationships, and every day emotional support.
Without being aware of it – busy lives, commercial forces and ever-changing social traditions – society is putting pressure on all of us to compete, be flawless, and stand-out. Reports of increased depression and anxiety continue to flood our news streams so how can we support our child’s healthy emotional development? Gratitude is one tool in the toolbox but, thinking about gratitude is not something we do naturally – it takes practice. Here are some inspirations:
- We can help them find gratitude during “pit” moments
- We can encourage journaling or drawing about gratitude
- We can help them notice when others do helpful things
- We can encourage them to write letters of gratitude to others
- We can listen to family-friendly podcasts or vignettes about gratitude
Additional Resources referenced for some of the data in this post:
- Making Grateful Kids by gratitude researchers Jeffrey Froh and Giacomo Bono
- Greater Good Magazine – Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley
- TKG Founding Teachers & Community