Thanksgiving is less than a week away and what better way to celebrate the holiday than teaching your child how to be grateful! While this is an important lesson every day of the year, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to double-check that your child really understands all that they have to be grateful for. Gratitude can be a hard concept to explain to your child, so we listed 7 different ways you can approach the topic this Thanksgiving.
1. Read About Gratitude
Books can be a great way to teach kids the meaning of gratitude. A lot of kids enjoy having a story read to them, making it a great way to spend time together while teaching them a valuable life skill. Stories allow children to understand and process complex topics, allowing them to see an example of what the word truly means. Click Here to view a compiled list of 17 children’s books that teach the lesson of gratitude.
2. Keep a Gratitude Notebook
It’s never too late to make a notebook listing all the things you are grateful for. While this is a good idea at any age, having a gratitude notebook early on helps instill the lesson of being grateful for what you already have right from the start. This makes it easier to transition this mindset into adulthood, allowing you to always be aware of all that you have effortlessly. Get a colorful notebook and let your kids decorate the cover the way they like to and have that be their gratitude book to write in. If your kids are too young to write, have them draw what they are grateful for.
3. Go Through Clothes and Donate
Go through old clothes you don’t wear and consider donating to a local shelter or giving it to a friend. This can help you become more organized and it’s a wonderful way to repurpose an old outfit. Get the kids involved by having them go through their own clothes and toys and seeing what they want to donate. This is a great way to show kids the importance of helping those in need while making them feel part of the process.
4. Watch A Video
Websites such as YouTube have thousands of videos to choose from when it comes to teaching kids about gratitude. This can be a fun way to keep kids engaged while bringing important lessons to the surface such as appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness. Make some popcorn, dim the lights, and put some pajamas on to make it the ultimate movie/tv show night!
Videos to Get You Started:
5. Have a Sharing Circle Based On Gratitude
Next time you sit around at the dinner table, take turns going around saying what you're grateful for. This can be a nice way to get the whole family involved and can be a great way to see what’s valuable in your child’s life. Have them start the discussion and ask follow up questions to see if they can talk more about what they feel grateful for and why.
6. Write a Thank You Note
Writing a thank you note can make someone's day a little brighter, even if it's only a few sentences long! A neighbor, friend, relative, or teacher that has impacted your child's life can be a great way to show your child how to tell someone you're grateful for them. Handwritten notes teach kids to take the extra time to reach out to someone special, making it even more meaningful since it's easier to send a text in today's world.
7. Show Gratitude
Showing your child how grateful you are to have them is the perfect way to teach them what it's like to be on the receiving end. When we tell kids how much they mean to us, this helps us show how grateful we are to have them while also modeling a real-life example of what it feels like to be valued by someone.
While gratitude can be a hard lesson to teach, we hope these 7 ways can help make this thanksgiving even more impactful! Remember to have fun and stay safe this season!