We are steadily making our way through November, and getting closer to Thanksgiving each day! It’s time again to start preparing and gathering our gratitudes in time for the special Holiday. Last week, we talked all about what Gratitude means, and why it is important to show it (missed last week’s blog? Click here to check it out!). This week, we are going to discuss the many different ways we can show Gratitude to the people in our lives.
Reminder: Who, What, Why?
Before you begin to show your Gratitude, it’s a good idea to figure out who you’re giving it to, what they did to help you, and why you are grateful for them. Without these in mind, it might be harder to properly send our genuine thanks to our loved ones. Take some time to list the people in your life who have assisted you – this can be parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers, or anyone else you can think of – and think about specific examples of times where you were grateful for their help.
Once you’ve created this mental (or physical) list, you can start to think of different ways to show your Gratitude. There are three main ways of approaching this task:
- Verbal Gratitude
- Physical Gratitude
- Support Gratitude
Perhaps the most straightforward form of Gratitude, this act includes using words to give our thanks. The most common form of this type of Gratitude is saying “Thank you, _______, for helping me with _______!” Fill the blanks in with the person’s name, and what they did to help you. Using this kind of message directly shows your Gratitude, and tells them why you are thanking them.
Any form of using words to create a thankful message can be Verbal Gratitude. Other common usages of Verbal Gratitude include, “I am grateful for everything you do for me!,” “I appreciate your help!,” and of course, “I love you!”
Again, this kind of Gratitude is the most direct and straightforward. When you do give your thanks verbally, it is especially important to remember the who, what, and why, so that your message is as genuine as possible. It’s always good to give a reason for why you’re thanking someone, so that way they know exactly why they are receiving your Gratitude.
With your kids, it’s good to practice Verbal Gratitude, as saying “thank you” is polite, and part of good manners. In addition, it will help get our kids into the habit of directly showing gratitude right away, whenever someone helps us.
The next form of Gratitude involves physical acts of showing thanks. Physical Gratitude is important because our body language can oftentimes communicate more than our words can. Furthermore, physical communication is a good indicator of a close knit relationship or friendship!
The best way to employ Physical Gratitude is through hugs. Giving someone a hug communicates closeness and appreciation. When someone does something nice for you, a hug is a great way to show your thanks. Human contact and connection is an important part of socialization, and can not only help our children express gratitude, but lets them know that there are people who will always care for them!
Other ways to incorporate Physical Gratitude include high fives, fist bumps, and hand shakes. High fives and fist bumps are a great way to quickly show your thanks when someone helps out or does a good job on a task, and are not as intimate as hugs. Hand shakes are an effective and professional way to thank someone, or to introduce yourself. You can practice these by giving your kids a high five, fist bump, or hand shake when they do something awesome, which is something we do in our classes as well!
The final way, and perhaps the most important, is Support Gratitude. This type of gratitude involves taking actions to give back to those who have helped you in the form of assistance. We can show Support Gratitude by being there for others, and helping them out when we see they are in need (remember last month’s talk about Kindness?). Whether it’s a classmate, coworker, or family member, being there to help out and lighten their load is a great form of Gratitude.
However, the important aspect of Support Gratitude is that the assistance should be provided without a request for help. In other words, Support Gratitude means helping out without being asked. Of course, if someone asks us to help, we should still give them our assistance, but true Support Gratitude means helping out without being prompted first.
Support Gratitude is important because it directly gives back to those that have helped us by helping them in return. It really highlights the influence that the Golden Rule has over Gratitude, because it encourages us to help others if we want others to help us as well.
In Our Classes…
This week in classes, we will be teaching our students the three different types of Gratitude, what each one means, and how to utilize each one. We will also help them practice each type of Gratitude in classes. For Verbal Gratitude, we will have them practice saying “thank you” to the instructors or any partners they work with. Physical Gratitude will be encouraged by having our students give high fives and handshakes to their partners. Finally, Support Gratitude will be taught by having our students go above and beyond to do things that will help their partners and classmates get better! Stay tuned for our character talks each class to learn how Gratitude can be practiced and put to use.
Gratitude is an important quality to have and give, especially during this time of year. However, it is important to remember that Gratitude can and should be given during any month, however with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, now is a great time to start thinking about who we are grateful for and how we can show that. By practicing and using Verbal, Physical, and Support Gratitude, our students can give thanks back to those that help them out each and every day in life!