Nov 15, 2018
Enjoy the little things because one
day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.
In Episode 63, I’m chatting with my friend Sara Kuljis of
Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp and Emerald Cove Day Camp. We talk about
family gratitude practices and lessons from camp for having
more grateful families. At Thanksgiving, it's easy to remember to
be grateful, but the habit of gratitude -- practiced at camp, at
home, and in the world -- helps us to be happier all year long.
- Gratitude is a muscle. We can build it with practice.
- Research has shown that those who express gratitude daily have
a more optimistic view of life and a healthier well-being.
- Developing relationships with the people around us makes it
easier to share authentic gratitude.
- Model respect by thanking others, especially those who serve
- Use their first names when possible.
- Make eye contact
Ways to show gratitude at camp or at home :
- Flower Sunday -- the practice of handing a
daisy while sharing an affirmation or gratitude with another
person. You give your flower away and receive a flower from
someone who acknowledges an action or quality they appreciate.
Using a token such as a flower makes a difference.
- WOW Bulletin
Board -- staff and campers send and receive notes to build
each other up and express thanks.
- Thankful Thursday -- a
note, text message or phone call to someone expressing thanks can
become a helpful habit.
- 3 Good Things -- share three good things that
happened at the end of each day.
- Commit to sharing them with friend or family member via
text. It helps with accountability and makes it easier to
- Go around the dinner table and share with your family or
- Write them down in a journal before bed, or share three things
you are thankful for first thing in the morning.
- This habit can not only strengthen your gratitude muscle but
also deepen your relationships and improve your outlook on
- Gratitude Jar -- keep slips of paper for
family write down things they are grateful for and collect the
scraps in a jar.
- Share the memories collected over the year at New Year's Eve or
at Thanksgiving or anytime.
- Attach the messages to a bulletin board or even to the
- Warm Fuzzies -- Take a sheet of paper for each
person, write their name on it and pass it around. Have everyone
write down what they appreciate about that person.
- Be specific. It is nice to recognize precise actions or
character strengths we appreciate in others.
- Go around the table at mealtime and share 3 good things,
something you are grateful for (besides friends and family) or
something you are grateful for about yourself
- Ask children to think of ways they would like to show gratitude
for others. Children have really good ideas themselves.
Audrey: "We cannot raise grateful kids if we are not promoting
our own gratitude."
Audrey: "It's important to remember that it's not just about
completing a task, like sending a text or writing in your journal.
It's about taking the moment to feel thankful. We need to take the
task out of it and feel the gratitude."
Sara: "At the end of the day being grateful makes me kinder and
softer to those around me."
Sara: "There's a lot of not-feeling-good-enough in the world. I
enjoy helping people identify their natural talents and the natural
goodness that is built in them and being intentional about building
those into strengths for making a positive impact in the
More Gratitude Resources and Ideas
My Pinterest "Gratitude
5 Ways to Avert Thanksgiving Disappointment
Raising Grateful, Not Entitled Kids
A Grateful Family is a Happy Family
3 Reasons to Give Your Kid a WOW Today
Grateful Campers are Happy Campers
Learning to Enjoy the
Teaching Kids Gratitude Rather
than Entitlement: Berkeley News/Christine Carter
Giving Thanks can Make
you Happy, Harvard Health
The Science of Gratitude:
More Benefits Than Expected; 26 Studies and Counting, Happier
7 Scientifically Proven
Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks
30 Days of Gratitude,
Kind over Matter
Why Gratitude is
Like listening to Audrey and Sara?
Here are more of our episodes:
Ep. 57: The Importance of Adult Friendships
Ep. 28: Focusing on
Our Kids' Strengths
Ep. 23: Peaceful
Ep. 15: Traits of Parents Who are Great to Work With
Ep. 7: Family Pace
Ep. 3: Raising Resilient, Independent Kids
Want to Watch this Episode on Video?
Our Favorite Books About Gratitude