5 Ways to Teach Kids an Attitude of Gratitude
I still remember our family tradition of going around the table and sharing one thing for which we were thankful before we dug into the Thanksgiving meal. It still brings back warm memories and lessons that stuck with me. But there are lots of ways to help bring this message home for kids. In this day and age when it seems like our kids have so many things and opportunities we didn’t, like many other parents, I often wonder if my kids are at all aware of their privilege. I want them to have opportunities and experiences. But I also very much want them to have an appreciation and gratitude for these things as well. Here is a list of activities and ideas for teaching gratitude this Thanksgiving season:
Volunteer Work at a food pantry, an environmental cause, an animal rescue organization or anything else that resonates with your family. Talk about what you are doing and why. If your kids are old enough to choose, let them and ask why they chose that charity.
Raise money for a cause Have a garage sale, let the kids run a snack/hot cider/cocoa stand or sell something they make like bracelets to raise money for a cause they determine ahead of time, such as a natural disaster aid relief. Discuss the cause and the ways and the people the money will help.
Put care packages together for families/kids in homeless or domestic violence shelters. Contact a local shelter and find out what supplies/packages they need.
Take Inventory Have yourself and your kids name things they are grateful for and why.
Keep a Gratitude Journal Everyone can keep a journal, naming 3 things daily for which they are grateful. Everyone can share a few things at the family meeting, if you feel so inclined. Some prompts for a family gratitude journal could include:
- What experience(s) have you had lately that made you feel grateful?
- Who in your life today offered kindness?
- What did you do today that put gratitude into the world?