I’ve been reading books on positive psychology for children aka “the science of happiness”, this summer. I’m a big fan and one of my all-time favorite psychology authors is Dr Martin Seligman, the founder of the field of positive psychology, and author of the books “Flourish” and “The Optimistic Child.”
Gratitude is one of the main ways he suggests we can improve our lives and there is a vast number of ways in which to practically introduce more gratitude into our lives.
I have practiced gratitude with my, now seven year-old, son since he was just six months. Gratitude practice was something we did back when my son was just a baby (Bedtime thank you’s). He probably didn’t understand what we were saying at first, but the feelings were contagious and clearly soothed him. Looking back, I think it has shaped the way he sees the world.
We’ve tried many gratitude activities and I recommend the next gratitude exercise because it fosters feelings of both connectedness and happiness – two key characteristics that support well-being in children. And it’s easy to do with kids too! WIN, WIN, WIN! :-)
I dare you to try it right now on your own, it takes just a minute to complete :-)
Mindfulness and Positive Psychology for Children – The Gratitude Card
Purpose: Gratitude and connectedness
Best for: Ages 3+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: Pen and paper
Okay, this is easy! Did you know that sharing happiness grows more happiness? It’s true. Now, draw a picture or write a gratitude card for someone you like.
1. Think of a person you like, love or appreciate.
2. Write their name and why you like them, like this:
___________ , you are awesome!
I like you because:___________________________________.
See how it feels to make the note and to give it. My guess is that it will make you feel good when you see how happy it makes the other person. See what happens!
You can send a message, too. See what happens!
If you enjoyed this mindfulness and positive psychology based activity then consider signing up for my upcoming children’s gratitude and well-being journal series and see if you will be one of the lucky ones to test drive the first journal for free before the launch. Sign up below:
With gratitude, Chris Bergstrom
Chief Mindfulness Ninja @ Blissful Kids
#1 Best-Selling Author of:
Ultimate Mindfulness Activity Book: 150 Playful Mindfulness Activities for Kids and Teens
★★★★★ Awesome “Bought this book for my 6 year old, but even my 3 and 15 yo love the activities. We usually incorporate activities on a daily basis and it’s been working so far.”
Baby Shark Saves the Day
★★★★★ Cute and calming “With the craze being all about baby sharks, it’s a great idea to take it and use it to help our kids calm down themselves. I’m a therapist and look forward to using this with my kid clients.”
Chris Bergstrom is a bestselling mindfulness author, a leader in the field of mindfulness, the founder of BlissfulKids.com, a blog dedicated to children’s mindfulness, and a dad who is thrilled to practice mindfulness with his son. He is a certified mindfulness facilitator and trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12. He’s also known as “the dad who tried 200+ mindfulness activities” and has taught meditation for more than 15 years.