The holidays are right around the corner, so what better time to teach children how to express thankfulness? Teaching gratitude is more than saying thank you. Here are a few ways to teach your child this valuable lesson. Click To Tweet
Teach Your Child Gratitude
Gratitude can be a difficult concept for children to grasp. It’s easy for children (and many adults) to focus on what they don’t have rather than what they are blessed with. While your children may have manners and thank you for presents and snacks; are they really feeling genuine gratitude? These thankfulness activities can help put a spirit of gratitude in your household.
Prepare Thank You Cards
A great way to make gratitude tangible to children is by having them create their own Thank You cards for everyone that will be present at your dinner table this year. Older children can draw a picture on the front of the cards and write their own notes on the inside. Preschool aged children can draw a picture and verbally say why they are thankful for that person and an adult can write it for them on the inside of the cards.
Children oftentimes don’t verbally express why they’re thankful for others. Authentic compliments can teach your children why they are thankful for special people in their lives. Also, complimenting your children not only makes them feel special, but can teach them how good it feels to be appreciated. The small act of telling them their drawing looks amazing or their outfit they put together themselves looks dashing can help them want to compliment others in return.
Make a Gratitude Jar
Another wonderful way to make thankfulness perceivable to children is gratitude jars. Buy a few mason jars and have your children decorate them with paint, stickers and glitter. Place some colorful pens and paper next to the jar and leave them out until the New Year that way everyone in your household can add to the gratitude jar. On New Year’s Day, children can take turns reading the thankful notes in the jar.
Do Small Services for Others
Simple acts of kindness have a huge impact on others. This could be as simple as baking cookies for the elderly couple at church or helping the neighbors bring groceries in. A great way for kids to see how blessed they are is by donating some of their old toys to a local homeless shelter or a Christmas charity. You can really get creative with this and talk with your children to see if they have any ideas on how they want to give back to the community.
Pro Tip: Adopt an angel with The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and let your child pick out the gifts.
Teaching Thankfulness is Fun for Everyone
Learning gratitude doesn’t have to be boring or tedious for children. With these fun activities, children will feel a rewarding sense of thankfulness and truly understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. This will make the holidays worthwhile for everyone.