Try this Family Gratitude Sharing Circle activity to encourage your family to express their thanks for one another. Expressing appreciation for others is a wonderful gratitude practice for families to do together.
What I really liked about our Family Gratitude Sharing Circle was the deliberate focus on thinking about someone else in our family. It required each of us to mindfully pause, reflect and then write before sharing. This really simple and sweet activity left us all giggling and feeling warm fuzzies inside.
- Paper (enough sheets for each family member)
- Find a time to gather as a family, ie: after dinner, before bedtime
- Label each sheet of paper with a different family member’s name
- Pass out pens and one sheet of paper to each person
- On each piece of paper, write one thing you most appreciate/are grateful for that family member
- Pass sheets around until everyone has written something for everyone else
- When everyone’s done, give the notes of appreciation to each family member
- Each person takes a turn reading their notes out loud
- Each family member takes a turn sitting in an “Appreciation Chair”
- Other family members go around and share their gratitude for the person in the chair out loud
- Other thoughts to share include a favorite memory or a kind act
- What was it like to think about why you’re grateful for each person in your family?
- How did you feel when you read your notes of gratitude?
- What are some other ways you can show people you appreciate them?
The Science Behind the Smiles
There are countless benefits to having a disciplined gratitude practice, like increased happiness and decreased anxiety. Gratitude can also have positive effects on group dynamics and social settings, encouraging greater sensitivity towards others. It’s worth noting that the benefits of gratitude build up over time. Establish a regular habit of appreciation for even more helpful results.