Gratitude and Hope

by Barbara Purdum
Alta Head Start Mental Health Consultant

We talk a lot about Resilience in Head Start. Resilience is the ability to cope with stress, traumatic events, and other difficulties in life. We strive to build the resilience of our children and families.

A recent study conducted on the psychological effects of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina found that there were a few characteristics that all of the “psychological survivors” shared. Among those were hope and gratitude.

As we come to the end of the year and the beginning of a new one, we’re surrounded by celebrations and the idea of giving (and receiving). It is important to help our children practice gratitude and encourage a hope for the future.

There are many activities that can be done to show gratitude or help us to reflect on the things that have happened in the past and what we have in the present:

  • One is to make a paper box, or find a small container, and fill it with statements of things that we’re grateful for.
  • The blog Plant Love Grow has a nice idea for making a calendar to reflect on things that you’re grateful for every month, which assists in giving hope to starting the new year.
  • Another way to show gratitude, and foster self-esteem, is to look in a mirror and write down all that you are grateful for. Writing these down is a wonderful way to promote a positive attitude and invite more blessings into our lives.


If you have any questions about this topic, or any other questions involving your child’s behavior, development or well-being, please call me at 330-736-0071 or email me at [email protected]


The Psychology Today article about the study on resilience can be found here:

Check out and for more helpful activities.