Can you teach gratitude to children? Many parents look for ways to help their kids count their blessings and express thanks to others. But sometimes, teaching kids gratitude can feel like an impossible task since most people don’t have time to stop and teach thankfulness. Also, saying to your kids “Be more thankful,” just doesn’t work.
Fortunately, here are some simple ways to create opportunities for gratitude to grow and flourish in your kids. So, check out these easy ideas on how parents can foster thankfulness in kids of any age.
Keep a Gratitude Jar
A gratitude jar is a visible reminder to practice being thankful for the little things. Young children can draw pictures of what they’re thankful for, while older ones can write their ideas on small slips of paper. As you go about your day, point out opportunities to add to your jar. This helps children make gratitude a habit.
Remember, teaching kids gratitude doesn’t have to be a big deal. So encourage your child to be thankful for the little things, too. Events like a beautiful sunset or a playdate can spark gratitude. Let your child decorate their gratitude jar and decide where to display it. This will encourage them to add to it each day.
Say Thank You
Encourage your kids to say thank you and to write thank you notes. But be sure to model these good behaviors for them and discuss why saying thank you is important. When you receive a thank you note, share it with your children and talk about how good it makes you feel. Teaching kids gratitude means helping them recognize that a simple thank you makes both the giver and the receiver feel good.
Give to Others
Help children feel thankful for what they have by showing them how good it feels to give it away. So, look for simple ways to share with others in your community. Or, pay for the person behind you in the drive through or line. Have a lemonade stand on a nice day and give the money to an animal shelter. You can even collect canned goods or warm mittens for those in need when you’re out running errands.
Simple, spontaneous acts are a great way of teaching kids gratitude. So, show them how giving to others is a wonderful way to express thankfulness. Also, look for ways to give to others and encourage your kids to do the same. And lastly, make it a family affair to encourage kindness and cooperation, too.
What’s the biggest advantage to teaching kids gratitude? It helps you feel thankful, too. Gratitude is contagious. So, enjoy spreading it to your kids and your community through easy actions that become lasting lessons for living.