With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can get hard to remember why the holiday season is so magical. So we make a conscious effort starting in November, which is considered to be “Gratitude Month,” to make gratefulness an important topic of discussion in our home. Not only does it remind us as parents to be thankful for our healthy kids and that our biggest annoyance right now is an ever-growing mountain of laundry, but it also helps us raise grateful kids. The best part? It isn’t hard to incorporate gratitude into our everyday lives. Here are some tips for raising grateful kids:
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Kids are always watching us. ALWAYS. It starts when they are toddlers and we have to bring them into the bathroom with us, and it continues through childhood, as we are rushing through the Target checkout line and dealing with PTA members on the school playground. So be sure that they are watching the type of behavior you want them to have.
Model gratefulness, whether you treat another carpooling parent to a Starbucks latte, sending thank you notes (I have the cutest stationary picks for you to use), or putting together a basket of treats on your front porch for delivery drivers to enjoy when they bring your online shopping goodies to your door.
Searching for Thankfulness Together
One of our family’s favorite traditions is sitting together at dinner and going over our highs and lows of the day. Whether you call it “Roses & Thorns,” “Bugs & Windshields,” or whatever creative name your family prefers, it is a great way to get conversation going, check in with one another, and help kids realize that no matter how hard or challenging their day was, there is always a bright spot (even if it is teeny, tiny one) to be thankful for.
Oh, and that adorable plate will help kids stay focused on the reason for the season, too. You can shop the collection here.
Read Books About Gratitude
One of the best ways to teach kids, especially young ones, about an important lesson is through the power of books. Creative and talented authors have the most creative ways to teach important life lessons to little learners. Some of my favorite Thanksgiving themed books that teach gratefulness?
But don’t let the lesson stop when the last page is turned. Instead, use the book as a jumping point for a discussion about gratitude.
Keep a Family Gratitude Journal
I keep my own gratitude journal that I write in every night before bed. It helps me get into a positive mindset before bed, and it is especially helpful once Daylight Savings Time hits and my seasonal depression kicks in. You can check out some of my grateful entries here.
Write to Me has beautiful Family Gratitude Journals that prompt a family to tell its own thankfulness story. It is a great way to connect as a family and keep track of your blessings throughout the year. My boys especially love when it is their turn to write in our family gratitude journal. It might get messy, but their growing literacy is something that I will always be thankful for.
Volunteer Your Time Together
Now that my boys are older, we have more opportunities to volunteer together to improve the lives of our fellow Chicagoans. So whether we are doing school fundraisers, making blessing bags to pass out to the needy, or partnering up with these local charities, our boys can see how fortunate they are and try to make life better for those who are less fortunate.
What are some of your tips for raising grateful kids? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Thankful for all of you,
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