Gratitude. What do you think when you hear that word. I know I think of what I am grateful for: my family, my children, my friends, my home, my job, the list goes on. I really do have a lot to be thankful for. I look around my community and see how great it is and there is also a need to help others in every community.
So, how do you go about teaching children gratitude and kindness? Well, that starts at home. What’s the saying nurture versus nature? Gratitude and kindness, like any other ‘skill’ sometimes has to be taught. But how do you teach something that should come naturally? Today I’ve shared some easy way to teach your kiddos gratitude and kindness so let’s get started!
- Say please and thank you. Please and thank you’s are huge in our house. We make it a point to say it to them and always expect a please and thank you back.
- Write thank you notes. This goes hand in hand with the please and thank you’s. During the holiday’s and winter months my kids get cards from out of state relatives. We often sit down a few days later and I help them write out a thank you card which they send in return.
- Don’t cave into everything your child wants. I know, this is hard. I struggle with this daily and try my best to pick and choose situations where I think my children deserve what they are asking for.
- Every night before bed, ask your child what he or she is grateful for. This allows your child to think about what they value and cherish and allows them to focus on the positive.
- Give back to your community and let your children see there is a need. This could be as simple as donating food to a local food pantry or helping out at an animal shelter or making cookies sharing with the elderly.
- Read books with your kids that focus on giving back. Kids Money Lessons offers a list of 12 Children’s Books to Teach Generosity and Gratitude.