How to Live Your Best Life?
How to Pray {Friday on the Farm}

1 Step Towards Raising Happier Kids…

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Dear Ann,

This morning my 12 year old son told me he’s about to reach his four thousandth thankfulness journal entry.

I bought One Thousand Gifts at the 2011 KWCHEA homeschooling conference and heard you speak there [about How to Raise Grateful Kids].

At the time, my son was preparing for a regional track meet and was quite beside himself with anxiety. [He had a long history of difficulty with this (as well as sadness) – as did both his parents! In fact I am convinced that were it not for finding freedom in Christ I would still be seeing psychiatrists and on medication.]

Anyway — I got my son to start listing things for which he is thankful each morning and evening. I forget how many items I suggested he list at the beginning, but he started exceeding it and over the course of about three days he went from being unbearably anxious about his track meet to basically fine — a little twinge of nervousness here and there, but not the debilitating fear he had had.

Over the next year, he continued his gratitude journal and there have been many occasions when he has been anxious and dealt with it by listing more things to give thanks to God for. He has been able to do many things which previously I think would have been too intimidating (sleepover at camp, etc).

So thank you! God worked through the message of giving thanks to Him in all things to bring great blessing to us.

My son actually recommended it recently to his dad (!), who was starting a new job and feeling a little nervous!

Sincerely,

A Grateful Mom

When a Teacher and Kids Give Thanks for 1000 Gifts

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{Full article here in the Hilton Head Newspaper}

When a Summer Camp takes Up the Dare

{An after school and summer camp program for school-aged children at a church, read One Thousand Gifts and “decided that our summer camp theme this year would be “Grateful not Grumbling.”

We’ve been making a gift list together and having the kids suggest things to add to it after lunch each day. It’s wonderful to see how they don’t want to stop adding to the list.

One little girl even made her own list at home and brought it in to share. We’re also weaving “GnG” into other parts of our day, such as when we read a book together after lunch. Here is a photo of our list so far for you. We’re up to 175 gifts and have only been at camp for 8 days.

Thank you for sharing — It’s changed my life and is now changing the lives of these kids.”}

6 Reasons Why to Teach Kids to Be Grateful 
The research can only support Scriptural Truth:

1. Better Attitudes:

Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, Emmons, 2008).

2. Better Achieve Personal Goals:

Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.

3. Closer Relationships, Greater Happiness:

Professor Froh infused middle–school classes with a small dose of gratitude—and found that it made students feel more connected to their friends, family, and their school:

“By the follow–up three weeks later, students who had been instructed to count their blessings showed more gratitude toward people who had helped them, which led to more gratitude in general. Expressing gratitude was not only associated with appreciating close relationships; it was also related to feeling better about life and school. Indeed, compared with students in the hassles and control groups, students who counted blessings reported greater satisfaction with school both immediately after the two–week exercise and at the three–week follow–up.”

4. Better Grades:

Gratitude in children: 6-7th graders who kept a gratitude journal for only three weeks, had an increased grade point average over the course of a year.

5. Greater Energy, Attentiveness, Enthusiasm:

A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).

6. Greater Sensitivity:

Children who kept gratitude journals were more sensitive to situations where they themselves can be helpful, altruistic, generous, compassionate, and less destructive, more positive social behaviors, and less destructive, negative social behaviors…

“Gratitude is good for the giver, and good for the receiver,” Professor Emmons said. “This has been documented in friendships, romantic partners and spouses. One study showed that the mere expression of thanks more than doubled the likelihood that helpers would provide assistance again.”

And if We Don’t Practice Gratitude?

On the other hand, research shows that youth who are ungrateful are “less satisfied with their lives and are more apt to be aggressive and engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as early or frequent promiscuous activities, substance use, poor eating habits, physical inactivity, and poor academic performance.”

Research from: Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier

Want More Grateful Kids?

15 Ways to Raise More Grateful Kids

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