Cultivating Gratitude in Our Children...
|To download a copy of this cool printable from it's orignator, click here!|
If you want to raise a child who has gratitude, show some of it yourself. The more you demonstrate gratitude and thankfulness, the more your child is exposed to it. We all know that learning is more possible with repetition: hence, alpahabet songs, addition flashcards, etc. Also, when we teach a child to zip a zipper or tie shoes, we know it takes more than one attempt...and that we show them over and over again. We keep helping them and reminding them and SHOWING them, until they get it. So, it only goes to follow that the same is true with teaching gratitude.
Here are a couple of ideas to help cultivate gratitude in your children:
1. Say out loud what you are thankful for on a daily basis. This isn't the same as sitting your child down and telling him what you are thankful for, but rather, just a "thinking out loud" exercise for you. I can almost guarantee that once you start doing this, you will find more and more to be grateful for!
2. Start a "gratitude journal" in your house. Any notebook will do. Keep it in a specified area of your house and let family members write or draw about things they are thankful for. This is easier for some kids (and adults) as they begin to start being more inentional about what they are thankful for. Find a time...maybe before or after a meal...or before bedtime, to read the journal as a family!
3. Create a thankful chain with construction paper links...let each family member add new links over time. How long will the chain get? Let your kids estimate and guess. Will it stretch across your living room? Will it go from your kitchen to your dining room? Can you make it long enough to trail all the way up your stairs? Have fun with this one!
4. Teach your child how to say thank you in a different language. There are 26 ways to say thank you on this site.
5. Grab our downloadable worksheet for kids to doodle, draw or write about things for which they are thankful!
Spin-Doctor Tip: It's easy to be grateful when things are going right in our life. Help your child learn how to dig deep and find thankfulness when the chips are down. Your child's learning curve will shorten to the degree that you can demonstrate this yourself!
What are you and your family thankful for? We'd love to hear about it!