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Writing and sending thank-you notes can help instill a sense of gratitude in your kids.

Four Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Kids

family time Nov 24, 2020

The holidays are usually a time for gathering together with your friends and families around food. Unfortunately, traveling for Thanksgiving is risky and not advised at this time, according to the CDC. Even though gathering in groups is out this year, expressing gratitude is always in style. So, what are some ways you can express gratitude and teach it to your kids?

 

Say ‘thanks’: This one sounds pretty simple, and it is. Your kids are watching you and mimicking your behavior. That means practicing gratitude is also a great way to teach gratitude. We as parents are quick to mention their not-so-good behaviors, but remember to thank your kids for their good behavior too. Did they pick up their toys as you asked? “Thank you!” Did they wash their hands before dinner? “Awesome, thanks!” The more you say “thank you,” the more your kids will notice and internalize your grateful behavior and good manners. 

 

Write thank-you notes: Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail these days? Now that we can’t see our loved ones in person all the time, written letters are back in vogue. That means thank-you notes or even Christmas cards are especially important this year. Let your kids craft their Christmas cards for Grandma and Grandpa or help them write thank-you notes to the relatives who send gifts. Your kids will have fun making their own cards and remember the importance of gratitude. 

 

Do something for others: Find an age-appropriate gratitude project for your kids. Help them bake cookies for your neighbor down the street, or pick out gently used toys to donate to the Goodwill. Other projects could include participating in The Salvation Army’s “Adopt-a-Family” program or your local church’s Jesse Tree program, where you can purchase a few wish-list items for a family in need. Whatever you decide to do, explain to your kids why you’re doing it and how happy it will make the other person or group feel. 

 

Talk about gratitude: Random and not-so-random acts of kindness are great, but you can also instill gratitude in your kids by simply talking to them. Ask them what they are grateful for while eating dinner, or teach them how to pray right before bedtime. When you make gratitude and appreciation a part of your daily routine, your kids will likely learn it as well. 

 

In what ways do you practice gratitude in your house? Comment below or share this post with your friends!

 

 

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