The Gift Of Thankfulness For Your Child
There are different season of the year that are associated with different aspects of character. As November approaches and the leaves begin to turn color and drift down from the trees it is natural to begin to think of thankfulness.
However, sometimes thankfulness is mistaken for manners. While both are important in their own way, by teaching thankfulness those “please” and “thank you” sayings are not just rote responses, they are meaningful comments that your child will say and truly mean.
The key to helping children to learn thankfulness starts with understanding just what thankfulness really is. Sit down and think for yourself how you define the word. For more of us as adults and parents thankfulness is more than just an emotion, it is a way of expressing gratitude for everything that is in our lives that is positive, supportive and pleasurable to us on some level.
To help your children develop the gift of thankfulness:
- Model being thankful for the gifts in your life both large and small. Use the words “I am thankful for ……” and explain why you have gratitude for the event, person or opportunity.
- Thank your children on a regular basis and be specific. Don’t just say “thanks” when they draw you a picture bur rather let them know how valued, special and cared for that picture makes you feel because they were thinking of you.
- Ask you children to share one thing that they experienced during their day that made them thankful. Perhaps they were thankful for an activity the family did together or a kind word from a friend.
- Encourage your children to recognize and thank others for help, support or encouragement. This could be peers, adults, family members or even people that help them in other events and activities.
- Make formal issues like thank you cards, emails or phone calls a family event, not just something that the children are expected to do.
Children can develop an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude with just a bit of encouragement and modeling from Mom and Dad. This is a wonderful gift to give your children and one that they will use throughout their life.