Thanksgiving is always a great reminder each year of the importance of teaching kids gratitude. And it is always nice to incorporate crafts and activities about gratitude into our Thanksgiving traditions. But it’s also important to raise kids – year-round – to be grateful.
Teaching Kids Gratitude – Even Beyond Thanksgiving!
I’ve asked some of my favorite blogging mama friends how they raise grateful kids. Here’s what they had to say…
Tips for Teaching Kids Gratitude – From the Mouths of Fellow Moms
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
“One way to [teach gratitude is] to establish a tradition of a family gratitude journal and to set a good example for the boys. Together we made a journal that we use for recording three things we are each grateful for.” Jen of Mum in the Madhouse
2. Talk About It at Bedtime
“Every night before bed, my son and I talk about how our day went and finish off by sharing something that we are grateful for. I started this when he was a toddler and now as a preschooler, he has gotten pretty good at sharing! It’s also a really nice way to end our day.” Sue of One Time Through
3. Perform Acts of Service & Kindness Together
“We talk about the blessings in our lives, the things we take for granted and how some people don’t have such luxuries. I include my toddler in the ‘experience’ of donating our used items, making meals for people, and getting gifts for children in need. It’s mostly about keeping an open dialogue … that, and leading by example so my boys understand the importance of being grateful.” Besty of Betsy Finn Photography
4. Be a Role Model
“MODEL MODEL MODEL – when my children see me being grateful for every day and taking the time to share our blessings with others, then they naturally fall in-step and do the same.” Amanda of The Educators’ Spin On It
5. Encourage Optimism
“I encourage them to find the good in the bad. It’s easy for them to be thankful when opening presents, not so easy when they have to clean the bathroom. I want them to be thankful despite the circumstances.” Julie of My Mundane and Miraculous Life
6. Make a Gratitude Tree
“We are starting our gratitude tree today and will add leaves as we do kind things for others this month.” Amanda of The Educators’ Spin On It
7. Make it a Dinner-Time Ritual
“Every night at dinner, everyone in our family says one thing they are happy about from their day, which is our way of sharing what we are grateful for on a daily basis.” Jennifer of The Good Long Road
8. Focus on the Small Stuff – At Home – Early On
“When our children observe good manners, common courtesies, and kindness from adults, kids integrate those into their own behaviors. Gratitude starts early and at home.” Darla of The Preschool Toolbox
9. Make Sure They Know You’re Thankful for THEM
“I try to let my children hear that I am thankful for them on a regular basis.” Christy of Thriving Stem
10. PRAY Together!
“We pray before each meal and make sure to include thanksgiving as part of the prayer. We encourage our girls to pray, too. Helping them to remember the things they are thankful for each day.” Leah of Simple. Home. Blessings.
How do you teach this important life lesson to your kids? Have any tips for teaching kids gratitude? Join the discussion in the comments below!
Full Spectrum Mama says
What a grand idea to have a FAMILY gratitude journal. I do one each night and I find it very helpful – and the science on just this simple practice and how deeply it improves our emotional lives is SOLID.
Thanks and love,