Happy November! This month is all about turkeys, family, and one of my favorite postures to teach kids: gratitude.

There are countless verses in the Bible that help us express our gratitude to God, and when we can help kids develop an attitude of gratitude, we set them up for lifelong habits of success in a variety of ways.

Here are 6 benefits of gratitude to consider as we head into a month-long focus on thankfulness:

  1. Emotional Health: Gratitude makes us more confident, leads to higher self-esteem, and can even improve decision-making.
  2. Mental Health: Thankfulness increases mental strength and resilience. It can even help reduce anxiety, a key benefit in a culture where kids and teens are more anxious than ever before.
  3. Physical Health: Even though gratitude is an attitude, it can affect our physical bodies too! Studies have shown that people who focus on gratitude get better sleep (and all the parents said “Amen!”), are often more active, and get sick less often.
  4. Spiritual Health: Gratitude helps us reflect on God’s blessings because it encourages us to think outside of ourselves and our self-focus. It redirects our focus from the trivial to the eternal, helping us reflect on God’s character and faithfulness. A true focus on gratitude can even lead to generosity.
  5. Relational health: Because gratitude helps us think outside of ourselves and our wants, it can lead to greater empathy, more openness to new relationships, and even deeper relationships with the ones we already have. Gratitude helps us connect with others and makes it easier for others to connect with us.
  6. Ultimately, gratitude makes us happier, more joyful people. By holding a posture of gratitude, there’s no room for comparison or worry. We can be more content with what we have and live happier lives.

Share this list with the kids and families you serve, explore ways to help kids develop an attitude of gratitude here, and check out the Thanksgiving resources below that can help teach kids all about thankfulness!

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