Doing Thankful Thursday posts each week helps me to focus on what is truly important. It lifts my mood every time; I can be down and grumpy, but once I start thinking of all I have to be thankful for – BAM! I get bounced out of my funk.
That being said, I think it’s important to teach children to be thankful. Here are a few ways we’ve been doing that here at There’s Just One Mommy’s house:
1. Of course, one of the BEST ways to teach children to be thankful is just by modeling it. If you want them to be thankful for what they have, to say thank you to others, you have to do it, too! I make sure to tell my kids “thank you” when they pick up their toys, wipe up a spill, or bring me food from their play kitchen. (And boy, do they cook a lot of food!)
2. Saying grace before dinner isn’t uncommon. (Or is that not done now a days?) Growing up in a Catholic home, we said the traditional Catholic grace before dinner every night. I think it’s a little hard for the little ones to understand, so right now we are using a more child-friendly prayer before our meal. After giving thanks for our food I ask each child what they are thankful for from the day. I love to hear the things they come up with, “Thanks for milk” or “Thank you for trucks” – priceless and teaching a lesson in thanks.
3. We’ve always taught the kids to say “thank you” when others do something for them or give them something. I love to hear our oldest say thanks to her little brother when he hands her a toy while they’re playing.
4. It’s no secret my kids LOVE Veggie Tales. One of their favorite shows is Madame Blueberry: A Lesson in Thankfulness. In the video Madame Blueberry thought she’d be happy if she had a lot of stuff, but she learned that what really made her happy was just being thankful for what she had. Not only does the video do a wonderful job teaching thankfulness, but the song in it is pretty catchy, too!
How do you teach thankfulness at your house? Have a great book you’d like to share? An activity? I’d love to hear how others teach this value!