The "Three Good Things" Gratitude Habit- Free Printable!

Gratitude is an attitude that every child can adopt. Of course, we want our children to not take things or people for granted.  We want them to be appreciative for what they have.  We want them to stop asking for more so often.  There are some other important reasons children should learn to have an attitude of gratitude at a younger age. Appreciation is a building block to healthy relationships.  It allows for empathy.  And, a child's level of happiness is directly impacted by their level of gratitude.  This last point is what we will cover here.  How can a child really obtain true and lasting happiness?  You may be surprised by the answer. 

The "Things Bring Happiness" Cycle

Children have a tendency to believe that they need the latest and greatest to be happy.  A friend has the newest popular toy, and a child's instant thought is by having that same toy they will be happy.  A classmate wears the coolest shoes, and a child's thought is that by having cool shoes they will be cooler and ultimately happier.  A playmate shows them the latest video game, and a child's thought is by having that game they will have fun and be happy.  Here's the thing- anything materialistic can only bring temporary happiness.  The initial elation wears off and that cool thing just becomes another thing that has no bearing on their level of true joy. 

Gratitude for kids

Why the Cycle is Vicious

When an item is purchased, there's an initial moment of appreciation for it.  That gratitude is what brings a feeling of happiness.  It's why there's a misconception that things bring joy.  Joy happens initially, but it's not due to the item itself.  It's due to our level of admiration for it. Naturally though, over time that appreciation for the item wears off.  The conscious thoughts of it and gratitude for it fade away.  And, this causes a shift in focus, loss of happiness, and eagerness to search out the next thing to bring back those happy feelings.  Allowing ourselves to believe that anything materialistic can bring true joy is a vicious cycle of elation and disappointment.  It's one we must stop in it's track for our children.  It's one that we even must break out of ourselves at times. 

Kid's gratitude

How to Break from the Cycle

The truth is that we already have what we need- and more. Wait- if that's so, why doesn't it feel that way?  Why do children not find the happiness in what they already have?Unless an intentional effort is made daily to be grateful for what is already present in our lives, we will overlook the abundance.  Being grateful is an undeveloped skill for most, but it doesn't have to be. Absolutely anyone can master the gift of gratitude. This is an emotional skill that is essential for children of any age to develop to break out of the "things bring happiness" cycle.  At the very start of a gratitude practice, your child should notice a bump in their level of happiness.  And, as they continue practicing and progressing, that bump strengthens and transforms their life into one of natural happiness.

Kid's gratitude practice

The "Three Good Things" Exercise

Your child has hundreds of reasons to be grateful that are likely being overlooked.  The "Three Good Things" exercise is done for a few minutes each day with the intention of making it a habit.  It's simple but yet so fulfilling.  Here's how it works:

1. Before your children go to bed each night, sit with them and reflect on their day.  

2. Have them recall three things that made them grateful.  It could be something that went well, something they learned, an ability they gained, a sense they used, a characteristic they have, a friend they made, a snack they enjoyed- literally, it's any three things they choose.

3. Have them write those three things down. By putting it down on paper, they are further solidifying their gratitude.  It also allows them to look back on all the reasons they have to be grateful on the hard days. 

That's it- it's really as simple as that.  You will be amazed as you observe your child transform into a consciously abundant little being as they continue this habit. And, while you are at it- why not take on the habit yourself?  You deserve the same feeling of happiness and fulfillment and can gain it with this exercise. 

Kid's Gratitude Challenge 

Free Printable

Print endless copies of our "Three Good Things" printable for your child and yourself!  Keep the completed pages in a folder.  And, on those hard days, look back at all the reasons you have to be grateful for what is instead of what isn't.   

Free Printable for Kid's on Gratitude 

Just Be Grateful

There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons to be grateful that easily get overlooked. Here are some reasons for gratitude to get your child started.  Read each item on the list to your child and ask why they should be grateful for it.

1. Being able to taste food

2. Eating your favorite meal

3. Eating ice cream on a hot day

4. Enjoying a hot chocolate on a cold day

5. Having a cool drink after doing exercises

6. Smelling your favorite flower

7. The scent of fresh cookies baking in the oven

8. Your mom or dad's amazing hugs

9. Snuggling with your favorite stuffed animal

10. Holding your mom's hand as you cross a busy street

11. Having parents that keep you safe

12. Having a home to live in

13. Listening to your favorite song

14. Singing along with your friends

15. Hearing your mom or dad say, "I love you"

16. Hearing your mom or dad say, "It's okay" when you make a mistake

17. Hearing your teacher say you did a great job

18. Having hands that give you abilities to write, play and eat

19. Having feet that allow you to jump, play and run

20. Having friends you enjoy spending time with

21. Spending quality time with your family

22. Wrapping a warm blanket around you when you are cold

23. Reading your favorite book

24. Blowing bubbles

25. Playing at recess with friends

26. Seeing your mom or dad at the end of a school day

27. The great feeling that comes from learning something new

28. Seeing someone smile at you

29. Helping a friend 

30. Being helped by someone when you need it

31. Playing with your favorite toy

32. Being creative and using your imagination

33. Having people that love you

34. Going on adventures

35. Trying a new activity

36. Making a mistake and learning from it

37. Having clothes to wear every day

38. Having food to eat each day

39. Doing your favorite thing

40. Going to your favorite place

41. When someone shares with you

42. When someone surprises you

43. Dancing with your friends

44. Seeing a beautiful rainbow

45. Being outdoors

46.  Having awesome talents

47. Learning a new skill

48. Seeing the sun shine after a rainstorm 

49. Loving who you are

50. Being free to be you

Another Free Printable

The 50 Reasons to be Grateful are included on a 5 page printable.  This printable is a great way to discuss many reasons for gratitude that may be overlooked.  It opens up a conversation with the intention to build gratitude and overall happiness.  Simply review the list one by one with your child and ask what they appreciate about each item on the list. It's a great way to kick off the "Three Good Things" daily gratitude practice.

Free Kids Printable on Gratitude

Free Printable for Kids on Gratitude