It’s officially November (okay like 7 days ago) which means that we are well into the month of gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation. I happen to really love this month because it causes me to be more deliberate and intentional about being grateful. As parents we are always looking for ways to teach our kids and raise them in a way that would make us proud. With Thanksgiving coming right up, now is the perfect time to focus on being grateful and so today I want to share with you 8 ways to teach your kids to be grateful.
1. TELL THEM ‘THANK YOU’: When your child listens to you, picks up their toys, eats all their dinner, or shares with their siblings make sure you tell them Thank You. Kids pick up on the little things pretty quickly and by telling them thank you, you are teaching them of it’s importance.
2. PRAY WITH YOUR KIDS: We started praying with our kids when they were pretty young and it’s so adorable to hear the things they are thankful for at the end of the day. Praying with your kids teaches them to be grateful for the everyday things. (Like the swings at the park, or that we got to eat cookies, etc)
3. MAKE A THANKFUL TREE: This time of year is perfect for ‘thankful crafts’. You can make a tree and put up leaves that say what you are grateful for. But you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to do this. You could make a thankful jar, banner, poster, collage, etc. Just create something together that gets your thankful juices flowing.
4. BE AN EXAMPLE: Let your kids hear you say thank you to others. Our kids are always looking up to us and it is always best to lead by example. Be gracious when you receive gifts, say thank you when someone opens the door for you, remember to pray and give thanks for your meals. By having a daily attitude of gratitude it will slowly become ingrained in our children.
5. SAY “NO” TO YOUR KIDS: It is totally okay to say no to your kids. My kids are WAY more grateful for things when they don’t get them all the time. If I gave my kids popcorn and cookies every time they asked for it, then they wouldn’t be grateful on family movie night when we get to have special treats.
6. TEACH THEM TO GIVE: This upcoming season is the perfect time to teach your kids to give. Bake cookies for the neighbors, participate in a Sub for Santa, or donate some toys that your kids have outgrown. Make sure to involve the kids in this. Let them go through their toys and talk about how happy they could make another child. Plus you are clearing out clutter so you get two birds with this stone!
7. BE GRATEFUL PARENTS: Be grateful for the things you have. Write Thank You notes, say meaningful prayers, donate your clothing, find opportunities to serve in your community. Let your kids watch you doing these things. As you become more grateful in your own life, the effect will trickle down to your kids.
8. REMIND THEM ALL THE TIME: Sometimes your kids just need to be reminded. As soon as my kids could utter their first words, I was teaching them Thank You. Everytime they got lunch or received any type of help I was reminding them to say thank you. Now at 3.5 and 1.5 years old I am so proud of my kids when they remember to say thank you and most the time they don’t need reminding anymore. I just kept drilling it into their heads until they got it and now I am so happy to have grateful and polite kids.
These are just 8 quick ideas to help you in teaching your kids to be grateful and hopefully it got you thinking of things you can do this month to be more thankful.
What are some ways you teach gratitude to your kids? Let me know!