During this season of thankfulness, it is a good time to help your little ones learn to understand what it means to be thankful. It can be difficult in today’s society filled with instant gratification to help little ones understand what it means to be thankful for what they have and not simply ask for and expect more.
Need a snack – there are probably more than a dozen choices in your house
Want a new toy – they will likely get one on their birthday, for Christmas, for losing a tooth, getting an “A” on your report card, or in their next fast food meal.
Bored – there is likely a tablet, DVD, or one of many gaming systems available for educational and non-educational fun.
All these conveniences allow our kids to take many things for granted. My kids are no exception. Therefore, during this time of year, when being thankful is in the forefront of our minds and our societal messages, we are trying to emphasize the importance of being thankful for what we have.
Some good ways to help your little ones be thankful and understand the importance of being thankful are:
Have Your Child Contribute – Whether it’s a canned food drive at your church or a toy drive at a local store, have your child help pick out the items, explaining all the way why you are providing the toy or canned goods. This will help your child feel a part of the mission to help others.
Make a Thankful Tree or Jar – Though this is common, having your child focus on thankfulness each day during the season is important. Obviously you should be focused all year; however, during the holiday season is a nice time to start. Have you child think of something each day they are thankful for. Provide an example of what you are thankful for so that your child can model the behavior and understand you are thankful too.
Keep it Simple and Straight-Forward – Depending upon the age of your children, you will likely want to keep it simple. Don’t make the process too complex or over-complicated. Just explain to them why they need to be thankful and model the right behavior for them so they can learn by your example and begin to understand what it means to be thankful.
Granted you want your children to be thankful all year, all the time. However, focusing on thankfulness during the holiday season is an excellent time to refocus your family and help your children understand the true meaning of being thankful.
How do you promote thankfulness in your little ones?
Check out more posts On Being Thankful by the TOS Crew here.