As we get ready for fall and the holiday season, it’s a great time to start talking with your kids about being grateful. I don’t know about your kids, but mine don’t know how good they have it. They have no idea how privileged they are to stay home and do school while wearing pajamas.
Although we try to inspire a feeling of gratefulness in our house, sometimes it is a little harder than others to get our kids to appreciate each other, their lives, and us as parents. Over the years, we’ve incorporated some of the following techniques to inspire gratefulness in our kids:
The Thankfulness Game
In this game, everyone in the family can participate. The trick is to list as many things that we are thankful for without pausing or repeating what someone else said. So, the first person could say “I am thankful for fall leaves,” but no one else can say they are thankful for fall leaves. They all have to come up with completely original items. When someone hesitates, they are out of the round. The person who can think of the most things to be grateful for is the winner.
This year at our house. we made a thankfulness tree. We cut out some leaves from colored paper and wrote what we were thankful for on each leaf. We then glued the thankful leaves to a tree made out of paper hanging on our wall. As we thought of more things to be thankful for, we added more leaves. It’s a fun way to mix thankfulness and crafts together.
Curating a Spirit of Thankfulness
We try to remind our children regularly (not just as we get near the holidays) how privileged they are to live in America, to have more food and clothing than a lot of children in the world, to have extra curricular activities, to be in good health, and to do school at home. It doesn’t always work, but my hope is that over time, they will realize how awesome they have things in life. 🙂
When possible, we teach our children to help others. Whether that is collecting food for food drive, collecting unused items to give away to a thrift shop, or giving time or money to help others, we encourage our children to do as much as they can for others. The hands-on action of helping others really seems to make a difference in our children’s awareness of how thankful they should be for what they have.
We are not all the way there by any means, but we do what we can to help our children feel thankful about their lives and experiences.
How do you help your children remain grateful throughout the year?