Although the Thanksgiving season seems to remind us that it’s important to teach our children to be thankful, teaching our children to have an attitude of gratitude year round is something we should all strive for.
But as we kickoff the beginning of the holiday season, how can we practically teach our children to appreciate all that they have?
Be a good role model. Let your children see and hear you thanking people. Tip service providers- and tell your children why. Let your children see you writing thank you notes when you receive a gift. Be charitable by giving your time, money or talent to those less fortunate.
Give up something. Try going a day without your morning latte. Ask your child to give up something she loves for a day, like her favorite teddy bear, TV show or after dinner treat. Talk about how other people go without these things every day and how fortunate they are that they don’t have to.
Give something back. Purchase a Christmas toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Donate gently used clothes and toys to a homeless shelter. Serve a meal to the homeless. Let your child experience the feelings firsthand that come from giving to others in need.
Share what you are thankful for. Whether it be saying a blessing at dinner or a prayer before bed, writing in a family journal or playing a game where everyone takes turns sharing what they are thankful for, make it a point to give thanks for what you have as a family.
Have a thankful attitude. Even when things seem rough- there are always things to be thankful for. Teach your children to always find the silver lining in the clouds of life.
When children are taught to be thankful, they grow into adults who have a genuine attitude of gratitude. It’s these adults who tend to always be ready and willing to help those who have less.