With Thanksgiving drawing near, many parents are thinking about teaching their kids to be thankful. Going around the table and saying what each person is thankful for has become a tradition in many households and is a really good one to embrace. Some families even make it a point to say what they are thankful for every night through November. These are great habits and can really go a long way towards instilling an appreciative attitude in children-as long as they are done right.
Don’t Be a Hypocrite
Unfortunately, just saying what you are thankful for once a day or even once a year is not enough to truly instill appreciative values in little ones. When you say that you are grateful for being able to just go to the grocery store and get whatever kind of food you want whenever you want to, but then you are impatient and testy when you actually run that errand, your kids are watching. You may be inadvertently teaching them that living in an ungrateful way is fine, as long as you say you are grateful at the end.
Walk the Walk
Really think about what you are teaching your children about thankfulness with your actions. Be gracious to others and appreciate their struggles, as much as your appreciate your own blessings. There is more to thankfulness than just saying thanks. Show your children how you care and lead them to show their true appreciation in their own actions.
At this time of year, there are many families that do not have the means to make themselves a huge feast. About one in three children in the United States lives in poverty. Bringing your kids with you to lend a helping hand can show them how to give back and share their blessings, a true sign of thankfulness. Even if you don’t have much, a few cans or a small donation can go a long way toward helping a family in need.