Teaching Children Gratitude

Four great ideas on Teaching Children Gratitude all year long.

In November and especially around Thanksgiving we start thinking about how we are blessed and all we have to be thankful for.  Our children are remembering what they’re thankful for too, but sometimes aren’t sure how express their thankfulness, besides just saying thank you. Here are some ideas on teaching children gratitude.

Start a Gratitude Journal. I know a lot of you are probably already doing this but it works great for kids too. During the whole month of November have your children write in their journal everyday. If they’re too young to write, they could draw pictures of what they’re thankful for. It could be something as simple as someone smiling at them. I think it is a great way to teach them to be thankful for even the small things. You and the kids could make the journals and embellish them on the first day as a fun family project. After writing in their journals for a whole month it should be easy for them to continue.

Write Thank You notes. Have your children take ideas from their  journal and write thank you notes to people on their list. It could be to a teacher for helping them understand a math problem or a coach for helping them win a match. It could even be to a sibling for not fighting that day or sharing a toy. Everyone loves to receive a thank you note, it could brighten someone’s day. Don’t forget to remind your children to send thank you notes for gifts received.

Participate in Daily Acts of Kindness. I have vinyl lettering on the mirror before we walk out the door that says “Kindness begins with me”. Hopefully it’s a reminder to all of us to remember to be kind as we go throughout our day. Sometimes it’s so easy to get busy and only think of ourselves. We need to take the time to display acts of kindness, especially in front of our children. They need to learn by example. It could be something as small as opening the door for someone else, letting them go first in the checkout line or doing something for a family member. Make it a part of your daily routine and your children will too.

Show Thanks through Good Manners and Recognize Them in Your Family. Sometimes when we’re at home with only our family, manners just  seem to fly out the window. We need to teach our children formal manners, so they don’t act like animals while dining at a restaurant or attending a holiday party. They need to also remember to say “please” and “thank you” to their siblings and parents. Be an example by expressing your thanks and gratitude to your spouse and children daily.

What are some other ways you have taught your children about gratitude?

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Lisa November 18, 2009, 1:15 pm

    This post is awesome. I’ve been trying to brainstorm about these sorts of ideas for awhile and came up BLANK. This is so helpful!

    Congrats on your son’s basic training graduation. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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