Family Essentials®

How to Teach Your Kids Gratitude

November 19, 2021

Posted in: Activities, Character Education, Curriculum, Holiday, Parenting

It is the season of giving, which is the perfect time of year to cultivate an attitude of gratitude with your child. Participating in thanksgiving teaches children how to think selflessly, and express thanks for all they have. Spending intentional time with your child to express gratitude will enhance their life, and yours.
We asked Sandra Graham, the Director of Training at Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care, to share her thoughts on how to express thanks and giveback with our children. Here’s what she had to say:

Ways to get your children started on practicing gratitude:

mindful minute graphic

1. Start a gratitude notebook – Have your child write a note or draw a picture of something they’re thankful for each day. Ask your child to be specific and the more they pay attention to details, the more they’ll start to notice the positive things in their life.

2. Make a gratitude chain – This fun activity gets the whole family involved. Set up an area with precut construction paper strips, markers, and tape in your home. Ask family members to pause every time they walk by to jot down something they’re grateful for and then fasten it as a link on the chain.

3. Write or draw Thanksgiving cards –Make someone smile with the expression of art! Have your child make a list of family members, friends, and community members that they can surprise with a thoughtful thanksgiving card!

4. Practice Mindfulness – Live in the moment and be present in your surroundings. Stop, breathe and be grateful for everything in your world. (NOTE: You can find many examples of #MindfulMinutes you can practice with your kids on our Kiddie Academy Facebook page)

5. Make “thanks” calls – Sit down with your child and make a list of people who’ve done something nice for them lately. Then set aside time for your child to call and say thank you.

6. Take gratitude walks – While you walk, look for the simple pleasures in the day, such as the clouds in the sky or the birds singing and express appreciation for them. Use this time to ask your kids what they are grateful for.

7. Try a twist on kindness rocks – Have your child paint rocks with images and messages that inspire gratitude. Take a walk and set the rocks in special places to surprise others on their walk.

8. Find a way to give back – Talk to your child about the causes that matter to them, and the people or things in the community that they’d like to help. Reach out to organizations to see how you can give back.

Expressing gratitude and considering the needs of others will empower your child to live selflessly. Your child will walk away from this holiday season with the knowledge that they can make a big impact in the lives of those around them—during the season of giving and beyond.

Learn more about how you can use Mindful Minutes like these every day to help children pause and enjoy the world around them.

Enter the Gratitude Giveaway!

Our friends at PBS Kids are giving away an ah-mazing prize pack to celebrate this season of gratitude, including a t-shirt, blanket, books, and more! To enter, comment on this Facebook post with what your child is grateful for this year.

 

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