As we approach Thanksgiving, it is fitting that we focus on ways to raise grateful kids.
Teaching your kids to be grateful can be a very challenging task. Since our lives are centered on our kids, it is very easy for them to become selfish. With the Holiday season upon us, use these 12 tips to teach your kids to have an attitude of gratitude for everyone and everything they have.
12 Ways to Raise Grateful Kids
Below you will find tips for inspiring your kids to appreciate the many gifts that they have been blessed with and to instill a heart for others.
Grow a garden
Let your kids get their hands dirty! Show them that they have the power to grow food and flowers. Even during the colder months, you can grow a small citrus tree or herb garden indoors. All you need is a sunny window! Include your kids in every step from watering to harvesting. You can also visit a local farm where your kids can pick their own fruits and vegetables. This will create a great appreciation for the food that is prepared for them.
Not only do you need to teach your kids manners, but you should expect them to be used every day and in every situation. By simply using the phrases “please” and “thank you” kids will begin to see all of the generous little tasks people do for them regularly. They will soon become grateful for everything you do, from pouring a glass of milk to tying their lose shoelaces.
Kids learn by example. If you practice giving regularly (with an enthusiastic attitude!), your kids will see your excitement and want to join in quickly. Grab an empty box and have your kids help fill it up with items that you can donate to a local shelter. Give things such as clothes, books or toys. Take advantage of this opportunity to talk to your kids about how other people do not have everything their family is so lucky to have. Explain the importance of giving.
You can give much more than just objects. Giving your time by volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Let your kids help you pick a place to volunteer. Some places you could volunteer at include local shelters, children’s hospital, food bank, school, or church.
The world we live in can be very scary. As parents, our first instinct is to shelter our kids from all of the poverty, loss, and misfortunes of this world. Instead of censoring everything in your kid’s lives, choose to educate them on these subjects. Use books, websites, and television as a way to expose your kids to the less fortunate situations of life.
Write thank you cards
Make a rule that your kids write a thank you note every time they receive a gift or act of kindness from someone. If they are too young to write, have them color a picture and attach it to a thank you note that is written by you.
Focus on the good stuff
Always focus on the good. Teach your kids how to appreciate the small things. Go for a walk, point out the birds, soak up the sun, smell the roses!
Sharing creates awareness of the world and others around us.
Creating and keeping holiday traditions makes a solid foundation. It creates an understanding for the true meaning of being grateful.
Pay it forward
Teach your kids that when they receive a gift or someone does something nice for them, they have a responsibility to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else. For example, when they have a birthday and get gift, have them donate their gently used toys.
Thinking of others first
Show your kids how to practice simple acts of kindness, such as opening a door for someone or sharing a snack with a friend.
During your day, provoke thankful conversations with your kids. Tell them how grateful you are for their help cleaning up a mess. Expressing gratitude towards your spouse for making a cup of coffee or packing a lunch also helps show your gratitude in everyday situations.
Remember that teaching kid’s to be grateful is not something that can be achieved quickly. Use these tips all year long, be patient, and the gift of gratitude will grace your kids for a lifetime.
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Amanda Murphy's other passion in life, besides writing, is spending time with her family. She's a married mother of three boys! Her hands stay full 100% of the time, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.