Teaching Children Gratitude

Teaching Children Gratitude

 Thanksgiving is a special time of year when families gather, memories are shared and new memories are made.   Many families take turns sharing what they are most thankful for as they sit around the table filled with savory dishes waiting to be devoured.   Having the attitude of gratitude is an important gift we can give to the children in our lives.   November brings a great opportunity to teach gratitude.   You don’t have to have children in your own home to use these ideas.   Teaching children in your extended family, in your neighborhood or in your church congregation, would be a great way to bless the lives of children around you.   Sometimes an Aunt or Uncle or special neighbor can impact a child’s life in a unique and special way.
Teaching Gratitude starts with words:   Saying “Thank You” often is a great way to help children learn to say thank you.   When our children were little toddlers we would hand them something they wanted and we would say “Thank You”.  It didn’t take long for our child to start saying those words to us.
Thank You Notes:  Thank you notes written to our children not only teaches by example, it allows our child to feel special and begin to understand what it feels like to be appreciated.
Stories about giving thanks:   Keep a basket filled with books, magazine articles and/or movies for all ages that teach the art of being thankful.    We try to add a new book to our collection each year .   Visiting your local library is another way to add a few books to your basket for the season.
Special acts of service:  Look for opportunities to serve others in your family, extended family and/or community.   Helping others gives children the opportunity to give back and see how their service touches the heart of another.
November “Giving Thanks” packages:  Kids love to create so taking treats to a neighbor, or creating their own thank you notes, is a great way to get kids involved in showing gratitude.   This year we are taking these little turkey baskets filled with goodies and a note of thanks to some special people in the lives of our children.
Get the pattern here.
Go here to learn how to create the paper basket.
Trace, cut and chalk or ink the sides.
Glue together.  Don’t forget to dot in the eyes.
Thanksgiving baskets ready to fill with goodies and a note of gratitude.
Thanksgiving is a great time to share a special note of thanks to our children’s birth families.  Any of these ideas can be used to tell the special Birth Families in our lives Thank You!   I feel  there aren’t enough ways to tell my children’s birth families thank you!   Nothing measures up to the joy they have brought into my life and into my family.   When I create something with my own hands and give it to them, it is my hope they realize my gratitude and love for them runs deep.   When my children create pictures (like a hand turkey) for their birth parents they get excited because it is something they did themselves.   What a great opportunity we have to share our love with these incredible people in our life!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Brenda Horrocks is a mother of four children through adoption. She promotes adoption, foster care and Utah’s Safe Haven Law through blogging, public speaking and writing. She enjoys time with family, reading books, running, gardening and movies. You can visit her blog here.