SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Parenting expert and journalist Donna Tetreault speaks with ABC4’s Emily Clark about the importance of teaching children gratitude.

How can we introduce this idea to our children? Tetreault says the holiday season is a great way to start.

“We have to be deliberate and consistent,” says Tetreault. ‘We don’t want to stop after the holidays are done. This is an emotion that should be present every day.”

Simply saying “thank you” wherever you may be — at school, at home or out and about is a wonderful way to start. Tetreault says making a game out of how many times your kids can say “thank you” is a fun, effective way to encourage comfortable use of the term.

Another way to introduce gratitude is through tradition. Fun things like a thankful jar, thankful trees, acts of service or appreciation around the dinner table can be practiced regularly.

“All of these practices are really important and we bring them into our home as tradition,” says Tetreault. “Anything you can bring as a tradition will help emphasize that gratitude during this time.”

Encouraging gratitude is one thing, but actually practicing it is even more important. Research has shown that children who expressed just five blessings every day felt more overall optimism and happiness in their daily lives.

To see the full conversation, check out the video above.