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5 Ways Martial Arts Teach Kids Gratitude

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Gratitude is important for kids and families because it helps children develop positive attitudes, foster healthy relationships, and cope with challenges.


Martial arts training for kids offers many opportunities to practice gratitude, leading students to become more habitually grateful.


At our house this year, we've made an effort as a family to include more gratitude practice in our day-to-day lives. We express gratitude at family meals, play gratitude games, and look more frequently for ways to express gratitude to and for each other. Practicing gratitude always de-stresses the household and improves the mood!

Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present oriented. ― Sonja Lyubomirsky

kids martial arts in raleigh

Here are five ways that children can learn to be thankful through martial arts:

  1. By practicing respectfully, and acknowledging the help we get from others.

  2. By fostering positive emotions and well-being through a supportive group dynamic

  3. By building new friendships during a process of self-improvement

  4. By developing resilience through practice, resulting in more confidence to take on challenges and appreciation for their own personal growth

  5. Children also feel more valued and appreciated when they are noticed and praised for their efforts, which boosts their self-esteem and sense of gratitude

The holiday season can be one of the best times of the year to reinforce gratitude practices. Often kids get caught up in the excitement of receiving presents, making it hard to focus on messages of giving and other spiritual aspects of the holidays.


What's more, creating more intentional gratitude rituals at home can make a big difference for young people, contributing to a more harmonious home environment, better results at school, and overall happier kids.

Here are a few ideas for family rituals that can help promote gratitude on a regular basis:

  1. Establish a daily gratitude practice, such as sharing one thing that each family member is grateful for at dinnertime or before bed.

  2. Another option: a quick three minute exercise where you go around the family circle sharing things each person is thankful for until time runs out.

  3. Create a gratitude jar or box, where each family member can write down things they are grateful for and add them to the jar or box. You can then take turns reading them out loud or looking through them together.

  4. Make a gratitude tree or wall, where each family member can add a leaf or note with something they are grateful for. This can be a fun visual representation of all the things your family is grateful for.

  5. Practice acts of kindness as a family, such as volunteering or doing a good deed for someone else. This can help foster a sense of gratitude for what you have and the ability to help others.

  6. Plan regular family outings or activities that allow you to enjoy and appreciate the world around you, such as hiking, visiting a park, or going to a museum. These experiences can help foster gratitude for the natural world and the beauty and diversity of life.

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