Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. As we prepare for Thanksgiving and reflect on what makes us grateful, we can also teach our children about gratitude as well. Today I want to share why it’s important to teaching our children gratitude but also share some fun activities to help them express gratitude as well!
Why Teach Children Gratitude?
Gratitude goes beyond just being thankful. It includes showing appreciation and kindness to others. When we teach our children about gratitude, we help build them up. Gratitude gives optimism, which can help them in challenging situations. It helps regulate stress and sleep and generally a good outlook on life! It helps us raise happy, confident children. One thing to note, however, is that if we teach our children gratitude, we should also take those lessons to heart for ourselves. I know that sometimes that is a struggle with many of us these days, as many of us are going through challenges of our own. However, modeling gratitude is good for us and will instill positive lessons for our children!
What Are Some Ways to Teach Our Children Gratitude?
With Thanksgiving approaching, one thing we do is a Gratitude Tree. I draw a tree on posterboard, and then we make leaves out of hand prints on construction paper. Then throughout the month, we write something for which we are grateful and post it to the tree. Another way we can teach gratitude is by conversation. We can use our dinnertime conversations or bedtime talks to share about gratitude…for one another, for something good that happened that day, or for something for which we are just generally grateful. Using a Gratitude Jar is yet another way to teach gratitude. Have a jar sit in your kitchen or somewhere convenient and have your family write down daily people or things for which they are grateful. When the jar is full, then read them as a family and reflect on how it makes you all feel! One of my favorite activities is creating a gratitude journal. Using a gratitude journal is great because it allows you to focus not only on what you are grateful for that day but details about why. Putting your feelings on paper and reading them after that is a great way to reinforce things. It is also nice to just go back through those journal entries in times of struggle for you or your child to help remember that no matter what, there is always something for which to be thankful!
Teaching our children about gratitude helps us raise kind and happy children. Laying the foundations for this can be taught at any age. It is also important that we model gratitude ourselves if we want to reinforce those lessons. While I gave some examples of activities to try with your family, I am sure once you get going, you could think of more! To help get you started, I am including some printable Thanksgiving Gratitude Cards. Print as needed and use them for a gratitude jar, Thanksgiving dinner, or whatever you wish! I hope you find these tips helpful for you and your family, as they have been helpful for mine!
About Lesa Marie
I am a mom of many hats: wife, mom, homeschooling parent, plus-size pin up model, autism parent, and chronic illness activist.
I have four kids ranging from toddler to adult. I share about what life is like wearing all the hats and all the things I have learned along the way. My main focuses are family lifestyle, fashion, and funschooling…with a little bit of my faith journey thrown in for good measure.
My goal is to build a community of people from all walks of life. I want to help people find homeschool and parenting resources that fit their needs. I also strive to share personal stories about some of the issues in which I have struggled in hopes that others know they aren’t alone…plus help you feel fabulous along the way!
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