How do you teach thankfulness during a season that easily becomes overwhelmed with shopping, Christmas lists, and very busy schedules? Teaching thankfulness during any season can be challenging, but even more so when your season becomes hectic. As parents, we always want to make sure we are utilizing every opportunity to teach our little humans how to be the best version of themselves. Some of these lessons are harder than others. Thankfulness is a lesson that is becoming increasingly challenging in a society that indirectly preaches entitlement. We want to help you battle these misleading messages with creative methods you can include in your lessons.
Create Activities Around Thankfulness
There are many clever activities your child can participate in, either by themselves or with others, that center around thankfulness. These teachings are fun for kids of any age and some of them even lets the whole family get involved!
- The Gratitude Garden
- Verses for Thanksgiving
- Thankfulness Turkey 3D Cut Out
- Gratitude Jar
- Thankfulness Post Cards
Share your games and activities on thankfulness in the comments below!
Introduce Thankfulness into Everyday
Like most lessons, repetition is important to truly learning and implementing behavior. Carve time out to participate in the lesson. For example, if you gather with your family for dinner this would be a great moment. Before eating, each person at the table can take a minute to express something they are thankful for. It can be a toy, something that happened during the day, or even dinner.The goal is to make the lesson become a tradition.
Set An Example
Children learn from their parents more than any other avenue in their life. If you are a thankful parent then from early on your little ones are learning. What an invaluable exercise it is to tell our kids why we’re grateful for them! It goes without saying that we love our kids but when we tell them what makes them special to us, their self-esteem is boosted for the right reasons (not because they have the latest smartphone or because they’re dressed fashionably). Plus, our example shows them that gratitude extends well beyond material things.
Decrease the Material Things
During the holiday season it is really easy to go over-board with gifts. As a parent, of course you want to get them everything they ask for, and sometimes even more. However, buying kids whatever they want, whenever they want, dilutes the gratitude impulse and it can mean that they don’t learn to value or respect their possessions, much less work towards them. There are other ways to shower your child with love without buying them anything and Christmas is the perfect time to do that. Mix in some other creative expressions of your love with the gifts under the tree.
Check out a video from Caleb with Homeschool-Curriculum on what his family does to incorporate thankfulness and other ideas people have shared with him.
The list goes on and on but hopefully this list will get you started in the Thanksgiving season. As many families come together over food, gifts, parties, and more, we remember the most important lesson is to take a moment and cherish what you have. Start your holiday season right with giving thanks for each other!