Raising thankful, grateful children
What better time than the holidays to teach children lessons on gratitude and thankfulness? Tis what the season is about.
Giving thanks should be age appropriate and there doesn’t need to be a long lecture involved, that won’t do much more than make the child tune out completely.
Some quick ideas to teach children the lesson of giving thanks and gratitude are:
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food bank. It’s eye opening.
• Make sure your child is responsible for his or her own belongings. Learning to take care of things is the first step to appreciation.
• Parents are their childrens’ first and greatest role models. If you are using “magic words” on a daily basis, then your children will pick up the habit, as well. Gentle reminders may be needed.
• Thank your partner or spouse in front of the children to remind them appreciation begins at home. Also, thank the kids, maybe for a spontaneous hug and kiss you’ve received, or a picture drawn during class.
• Teach your children to appreciate their surroundings by pointing things out to them.
• Ask your children what they are thankful for, on occasion. It makes for interesting dinner conversation.
• Insist that thank you notes go out in a timely manner after receiving gifts.
• Encourage kids to be generous. Donate toys to kids who don’t have any.
Some crafts that are fun and educational:
A Thanksgiving Tree
Use Thanksgiving-colored construction paper (red, brown, green, orange or other Fall colors). Trace your child’s hand and cut it out. Glue it onto another piece of construction paper. Cut out a trunk. Decorate with images from magazines, photos or pictures printed from the Internet of things to be thankful for.
A Placement of Thanks
Use a full piece of construction paper, color of your child’s choice. Make a collage of images from the Internet, magazines and photos. Laminate.
Remember, it takes time to teach gratitude so be patient. Once you get there, you’ll be thankful!
What type of lessons have you used to teach your children to be grateful and thankful?
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