In a world where instant gratification is not only commonplace but is expected from adults and kids alike, it can be difficult to truly show your children what it means to be grateful. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Today.com has proposed several great ways that you can teach your children what it means to be truly grateful. In this post, we will go over four of them. Keep reading to find one that will work for you!
One of the most prominent ways to show your children how much they have been given is to take something away. This can mean placing a temporary hold on electronics, takeout food, etc. By showing your children what it is like to do without something they take for granted, they are more likely to appreciate whatever it was that you took away. Today suggests talking away these nonessential items or privileges for a week or even a whole month!
Plan to Serve
It is so easy to say that you want to volunteer at your local food pantry, drop donations off at a homeless shelter or clean up a local park. However, as easy as that is to say it is just as easy to let life take over and never get around to actually serving. This thanksgiving, plan to serve. Call your local food bank, homeless shelter, park district, etc., and schedule a specific time for you and your family to serve your community. While you serve, explain to your children that the work they are doing is helping so many others. Service is a great experience for everyone involved.
Be an Example
When you are out and about, do more than say, “Thank you.” Let those who you encounter know that you are grateful for the work they do and be specific about it. For example, if you are looking for a book in the library and a librarian walks up to you and helps you find it, instead of merely saying, ”Thank you,” try saying, “You are really knowledgeable, I appreciate your help.” It is said that one of the greatest compliments is to be told that you are appreciated. Make it a habit for yourself to say more than, “Thank you.” Before you know it, your children will be letting the world know how appreciative they are of what others do for them.
Make a List
A great activity to do with your kids around Thanksgiving is to sit them down and make lists of what they have – separated by wants and needs. Set these lists side by side and allow your children to visually see how much they have that they actually need and how much they have that is extra. To take it an extra step, ask your children to take away two, three or four things on their “wants” list to give to charity. This is a great way to incorporate service and gratitude.