Starting this week, and based on community feedback, we are celebrating gratitude on Thursdays! Our circle offers the opportunity for each individual to share something they are grateful for. You may not have time to read the whole post so if you have to pick, please read “flow of the circle” to get some of the logistical info about the circle.
Flow of the Circle:
When you arrive, please gather in the courtyard. Teachers will be bringing students out with all of their packs. We make a big circle and take our sharing cue from a teacher – who may offer an intention. It is like a meditation on something you are grateful for – no gratitude is too big or too small.
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