How I’m Teaching My Toddler To Practice Gratitude


When it comes to keeping up with good habits, sometimes it’s about having them right in front of you. For example, using that fancy anti-aging serum you bought by leaving it on the counter, making a nutrient packed smoothie by keeping your blender out, hitting the gym after work by keeping your workout clothes in your car, etc.

Enter: the gratitude rock.

A small little rock that reads “gratitude” which I keep on my nightstand as a reminder to start and end my day with what I’m grateful for. Studies show that people who practice gratitude and mindfulness on a daily basis are genuinely happier, including kids (great read here about it), and I have to agree. So, I started my daughter with her very own gratitude practice at six months of age.

It began as a bit of an accident; she’d come into our bed in the morning and wanted to play with everything on my nightstand. When she began to show interest in the gratitude rock, I took it as an opportunity to begin the practice.

While she plays with the rock, I say what she is grateful for (she’s now one and only has a few words) and then I hold the rock and I share what I’m grateful for. For her I say things like, “I am grateful that my brain and body connected this week and now I am able to pick up my feet, move my legs and walk. I can’t wait for all the adventures these legs will take me on.” I try to connect what she is grateful for to something going on in her life, and when there isn’t much going on (or let’s be honest, when I’m so effffing tired that I can’t think of something), I keep it simple and focus on important things like food on the table, a roof over our head, toys to play with, etc.

I can’t wait for the day when she will be the one to share her daily gratitude outloud and look forward to keeping this morning ritual going for as long as we live together.

P.s. for anyone curious, my mom made this rock by simply painting the word gratitude on a found rock. At first I thought it was cheesy, but six years later and it never leaves my nightstand nor do I skip a morning gratitude practice…

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3 comments

  1. Wow! That’s a great idea. I want to try this, too. I think I should be the role model first before making my kids try this. Thank you for sharing.

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