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Attitude of Gratitude

Author: Adrianna and Ryan Walden
Published Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

During this time of year, many are planning holiday celebrations with family and friends while reflecting on all the reasons they have to be thankful. Ryan and I have intentionally tried to raise our daughter to have a thankful heart and to see the ‘extra’ in the ordinary. More importantly, however, we want to instill in her an attitude of gratitude.

You may be wondering, "Isn't thankfulness and gratitude the same thing?" While similar in context, each has a different definition. Thankful is an adjective to describe feelings of pleasure and relief. For most people, especially kids, thankfulness is associated with feelings of happiness. Gratitude, on the other hand, takes a little more effort. It is the quality of being thankful, the readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness. Teaching children how to have an attitude of gratitude requires helping them look at their situations through the lens of appreciation, not from a place of lack.

Below are examples of ways you and your family can spread attitudes of gratitude. Who knows, your acts of kindness may be contagious.

  • Send handwritten cards to family and friends.
  • Bake cupcakes and deliver them to your local police precinct.
  • Deliver goodies to a retirement community and spend time talking with the seniors. Many seniors don't have family that visit and would love your company.
  • Paint someone a picture or make them a homemade gift.
  • Give hugs.
  • Donate money or time to an organization.
  • Organize a neighborhood gathering.
  • Volunteer to read to children in a nearby preschool program.

For more parenting tips, be sure to visit CHKD.org/ParentingResources.


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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 12 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs. Both have enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for the past eight years. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy school-age child. The Walden's also lead a weekly community group through their church for married couples and their children.