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Ann Corwin, Ph.D., M.Ed

Featured Article

The Feeling of Gratitude

Dr. Ann Corwin’s Transforming Work with Children and Parents

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

Ann Corwin, Ph.D., M.Ed (Dr. Ann) says that gratitude is one of 16 common feelings. So, gratitude is the feeling of being thankful.

For over 35 years, the longtime Laguna Niguel resident has taught parents how to help their children understand and apply the feeling of gratitude and ‘other feelings’ they experience. 

With a Ph.D. in Marriage, Family & Child Therapy and Master’s Degree in Education, Dr. Ann is passionate about the biology of the brain as it directly relates to a child’s behavior.  Her extensive studies confirm that understanding the Attachment Rule (eye contact, touching and talking) as the most critical skill for making and keeping long-term, healthy relationships.

Nationally recognized for her work connecting children, parents and teachers for healthy relationships, Dr. Ann comes from a long line of healthy relationships herself - both parents and grandparents were married over 60 years and she’s been married for 43 years with two happily married grown children.

Dr. Ann problem-solves for families and professionals working with children by teaching and applying Social Emotional Literacy for positive change saying, “people behave the way they do because of how they feel; so specific, easy-to-apply tools can make an immediate difference for positive changes to literally any relationship issue.”

She trains health educators at MOMS Orange County since the social emotional process starts at birth. Her training impacts new moms and babies by reinforcing the behaviors that support positive child development.  

Citing the analogy of learning the ABC’s as basic knowledge upon which we all learn to read, Dr. Ann questions why we don’t provide tools to children about the most powerful part of their brain, the emotional brain. 

Corwin developed a simple resource for Social Emotional Literacy called “Toddlers 2 Teens” or T2T.  The tools help children become literate about their feelings so they can deal with the ups and downs in life while laying the ground work for healthy relationships.

Dr. Ann’s tips for teaching gratefulness:

1.     Teach children how to ‘give’ whenever they receive something. “GET TO GIVE” suggests when a child receives a new toy, have them give a toy to another child.

2.     When a child says thank you for a gift, remind them to make eye contact, give a hug or hand shake with the words.

3.     Ask a child how they ‘feel’ after they give something to someone to help them identify the feeling they will hopefully duplicate.

4.     Help a child associate colors with feelings; Happy is Yellow and Thankful is Blue to help make feelings more concrete and less abstract.

5.     When a child says thank you, use the Attachment Rule yourself. Make eye contact with them, touch them and say “Great job thanking someone for something you received!”

At any age, the simple act of kindness can make both the receiver and giver feel great as does expressing and receiving gratitude! For information, visit

  • Ann Corwin, Ph.D., M.Ed