“Thank you” is a term that is rarely heard, especially out of the mouths of children. The holidays are a great time to teach your child how to be thankful and actually show them how lucky they are regardless of what they do not have. There are many people less fortunate and if you are reading this, you have a reason to be thankful. You can read and you have access to a computer. Teaching your children to be thankful can be just as easy. Here are a few ways to help your child learn to be thankful.
Set a good example. Children will follow your lead. “You can talk until your blue in the face…”, but children learn by example. So, practice what you preach. Show your thanks.
Teach your child the importance of thank you notes. Thank you notes are extremely important in life. I once landed a job because I sent a thank you note. Gratitude is still appreciated and sometimes expected. Arm your child with the knowledge of thank you notes. Show them how to send thank you cards when they receive gifts. Maybe send random thank you notes to people that have somehow impacted their life.
Volunteer and take your child or children with you. There are many charities or organizations that help others that can use help. You can volunteer at local therapeutic stables or farms. Help at church thrift stores or events. Volunteer somewhere that is helping the community so your child can be thankful for what they have and not disappointed with what they do not have.
Make a Thanksgiving craft project that shows thanks for the tangible and intangible. A great way to display your thanks is to make a craft project. You can trace your hand as a turkey and on the fingers write what you are thankful for. You can also make a leaf wreath for fall and write what you are thankful for or appreciate. These are crafts your children will enjoy making and still learn about thankfulness.
Let your child donate unused toys to a charity. Around Christmas, there will be many charities wanting toys. You can clean up toys that are no longer being played with and give them to a charity that will give them to a child that will play with them.
Donate clothes and other unused items. Recently my daughter decided she wanted to give someone who was not able to get clothes her clothes. The child’s parent was unable to drive and my daughter was sad no one could help the child. She went through her clothes and we were able to clean out her closet of clothes that were no longer worn. You can also donate items to the Salvation Army and church thrift stores. Many church thrift stores help families with clothes, food, and household items.
Remind your child to say thank-you and be sure to say it yourself. The more you say it the easier it will be to teach your kids to be appreciative. You will have thankful children in no time.