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!
I LOVE hearing the things that children are thankful for! My sister did the same thing with her kiddos when they were really little (asking them what they were thankful for) until they were old enough to grasp the concept of talking to God. I always loved hearing every little thing they were thankful for. Really puts life in perspective for me. 🙂
Yes, it does put it in perspective. Sometimes the things they are thankful for are things we did that day I didn’t even know they cared about…
I definitely agree with setting an example. I am flabbergasted sometimes when parents snap at their kids for not having manners when they do not have any themselves. We are very big on the “thank yous” in our home too! It really does warm my heart when my I hear those words come out of their mouths and know by the tone in their voice that they truly mean it. We also remind them that Thanksgiving is not the only day that they can say what they are thankful for. Now I am smiling too…just hearing their voices in my head. Thanks 🙂
I love hearing my say thank you to each other. Truly is priceless sometimes!
It’s interesting that you posted about saying grace. Now that baseball season is over, we actually have time to sit and eat together. My boys, almost 13 and 10, will say grace without fail……interesting because we are not what I would call “strongly practicing our faith”.
Have a wonderful weekend!
It’s wonderful that they do that on their own – we aren’t “strongly practicing in our faith” right now either… But I am still trying to teach some of what I learned as a child.
It’s a first responsibility of parents to teach their kids to be thankful when needed. It is one of the good habits, which should be cultivated from the childhood. I like the way of expressing your feelings with this blog post to teach children to be thankful. This will help them to become a good and responsible citizen.
Thank you for your lovely comment. I agree, it is important to teach kids to be thankful.
Your number one tip is how we do it. I firmly believe in modeling appropriate behaviors. It’s working, too! My two year old says “Thank you” all the time now, and I rarely ever told her to say it or did anything besides say it myself. She’s starting to get better at “Please,” but I’m also trying to more actively use the word myself! I realized that I don’t say it as often as I should.
So, no new tips here, but I completely agree with you!
Please is the one we need to work on most here, too. I agree, I don’t use it as often as I should, either…something the whole family can work on!