Practicing Gratitude

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold rather a large amount of Gratitude.”

- Winnie the Pooh

This holiday season we will experience many time-honored traditions once again post COVID - traveling to see relatives and friends, attending large social gatherings, and watching stadium packed football games to name a few. Yet despite these positive changes many of us are coping with multiple challenges in our everyday lives.

No matter our circumstances there is much to be grateful for! Practicing gratitude is a skill we can all benefit from no matter our age or circumstances.

What does “Practice Gratitude” mean?

  • Gratitude describes the state of being grateful by consistently noticing the positive, good aspects of life and being thankful for the things we have. 
  • Gratitude is pausing to notice and appreciate the things we may often take for granted, like having a place to live, food, clean water, friends and family, transportation, technology, seeing people “in-person”, etc.
  • “Thank you” is an expression of words, appreciation is action, and gratitude is a practice. You can be thankful, appreciative and grateful all at the same time!
  • Gratitude is not something you are born with. It can be taught, and it can be learned!

What are the benefits of teaching the practice of Gratitude to our children and youth?

“Gratitude is important because it not only helps us feel good but also because it inspires us to do good. Gratitude heals, energizes and transforms lives…Gratitude is about remembering…A French proverb states that Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” Robert Emmons, Ph.D., Gratitude Works

There are many research studies substantiating the benefits of practicing Gratitude. Dr. Emmons points out in his book Gratitude Works, “Gratitude has one of the strongest links to mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait, more so than even optimism, hope, or compassion.”

A focus of the CBSG® Program is to increase protective factors and build resiliency in children and youth. Gratitude does both. Studies show that practicing “an attitude of Gratitude” increases joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness and optimism. Practicing Gratitude aligns with the Major Messages Domains I Am, I Can, I Have, I Will, I Believe. It has been shown to improve psychological and physical health; help build meaningful relationships and connections; enhance social awareness skills such as empathy; improve self-awareness, self-confidence and self-efficacy; help to achieve goals; be better able to cope with stress and traumatic memories; and enable a greater sense of purpose and future. 

What are ways to teach kids about Gratitude and Gratitude Practices?

Below are twelve suggestions to teach children about gratitude. This is certainly not an exhaustive list – be creative and come up with your own practices.

  1. Make a Gratitude Jar to collect words and drawings of things for which they are grateful.
  2. Keep a Gratitude Journal (written or drawn).
  3. Make a Gratitude Collage as a family.
  4. Write messages of Gratitude on pieces of heart shaped paper to give to others.
  5. Use everyday conversations as teachable moments to notice or teach Gratitude.
  6. Write messages of Gratitude to each family member and hide them to be discovered later.
  7. At meal or bedtime, reflect upon the Gratitude “Sunshines” of the day.
  8. Perform acts of service for others (if you can, do them anonymously).
  9. Look for the silver lining when you experience a “Cloud” (things which don’t go as planned; “don’t like” feelings of sadness, anger, fear, etc.)
  10. Practice and teach the habit of saying “Thank You”.
  11. Adapt familiar games to have a Gratitude twist.
  12. Last, but not least, MODEL Gratitude!

Rainbow Days is grateful for you and your commitment to be a difference maker in the lives of children and youth across our incredible country! We wish you all a wonderful beginning to the holiday season!

Cathey Brown

CBSG® Program Developer

Thank You for Sharing Your Thoughts!


A special THANK YOU to everyone who completed the recent Classroom Connection survey. It was wonderful to hear from so many of you doing such great work with children and youth in your communities.

We truly value your feedback and appreciate the time you took to complete the survey! Your responses will help us as we move forward developing Classroom Connection. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting new adaptation coming next year!

Resource Connection

Resources on Practicing Gratitude:

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.

Gratitude Works

How to Teach Children Gratitude - VeryWellMind

Children's Books on Gratitude

Children's Happiness Study

Join us soon for a Curriculum-Based Support Group (CBSG®) Program Facilitator Training

Kids’ Connection, Youth Connection, and Kids’ Connection, Too (collectively known as the CBSG® Program) are unique, interactive, multi-cultural curriculum-based prevention interventions that teach high-risk children and youth ages4-17 a set of essential life skills: skills to help them learn how to cope with difficult family situations (which include Adverse Childhood Experiences), resist negative peer pressure, set and achieve goals, and refuse alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

This training is designed to fully prepare schools, community-based organizations, churches, juvenile justice divisions, volunteers, and other youth service professionals to fully implement the CBSG® Program with fidelity. Those completing this training will receive their choice one of the CBSG® Program Facilitator manuals: 

Kids’ Connection

For ages 4-12 in Schools

and Communities

Youth Connection

For ages 10-17 in Schools

and Communities

Kids’ Connection, Too

For Ages 4-15 in Transitional Living Environments

JAN 24 & 25

9am-12:30pm each day

Virtual CBSG® Program Facilitator Training via Zoom ($300/participant)

Register Now

APRIL 18 & 19

9am-12:30pm each day

Virtual CBSG® Program Facilitator Training via Zoom ($300/participant)

Register Now

JUNE 13 & 14

9am-12:30pm each day

Virtual CBSG® Program Facilitator Training via Zoom ($300/participant)

Register Now



Virtual CBSG® Program Facilitator Refresher Training via Zoom ($75/participant)

* Please note that you must have previously completed the   7-hour CBSG Program Facilitator Training before attending the Refresher training. 

Register Now

AUG 22 & 23

9am-12:30pm each day

Virtual CBSG® Program Facilitator Training via Zoom ($300/participant)

Register Now

“I truly love everything about this curriculum. I really appreciate that it allows youth the opportunity to talk about feelings and handling anger. It gives them a safe space to talk about these things.”

Lisa Solon, Program Specialist | Lakewood's CHOICE

Testimonial Spotlight

We are so thankful to have so many wonderful partners in Texas, and across the nation, who conduct the CBSG® Program. Many have shared their personal testimonials which can be found on our website. In this month’s featured Testimonial Spotlights, you will hear from Lisa Solon, Program Specialist, Lakewood's CHOICE.

Lisa Solon

Program Specialist | Lakewood's CHOICE (Choosing Healthy Options & Igniting Community Engagement)

Order the Newest Editions of

Kids' Connection & Youth Connection Today!

The 2022 Revised Editions of Curricula are now available for purchase! If you have completed a CBSG® Program Facilitator Training, you are eligible to order these new editions. Don’t miss out on these

“hot off the press” editions!

Order Now

New activities in Kids’ Connection and Youth Connection

Inclusion of 2021 Theory Logic Model and Outcomes Approach Logic Model 

New CBSG® Program Evaluation Summary (2021) and Evaluation Pre/Post Tests

CBSG® Program outcome statements for implementers and revised overview and implementation guidelines

Updated guided discussions and activities, forms and reporting requirements to support CBSG® Program implementation

Spanish translation of updated and new activity worksheets and newly developed parent/partner information and permission documents

Got Questions? We've Got Answers!

Please don't hesitate to email us at for more information

Like. Follow. Share. |

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Twitter