John Bunyan once said, "You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." Compassion, gratitude, and the whole spectrum of emotions open for people are a driving force that pushes us forward to do good, recognize, and cherish it.
In a world where not everyone is as lucky as some of us, we should recognize gratitude for what we have and cherish these things. Therefore, one of the most valuable lessons that parents should teach their children is – to be grateful.
For this, you can go over a list below that contains 20 exciting and fun ways to teaching kids gratitude.
1. Safety First
In times like ours, safety is a topic of discussion all around the world. In order to let a child understand how important this is, talk about a safety plan for your family. The process of creating it and going over this topic will show that it is indeed something to be grateful for.
2. DIY Tree of Gratitude
What is the best way to show the range of things one can be grateful for? Instead of giving a little one tons of examples, you can do some crafts together.
Make a paper tree trunk together with your child and ask relatives and friends to write one thing they are grateful for on the "tree leaves." After, you can hang these little leave-like notes on a tree.
Are you familiar with the feeling when you seem to know how to solve other peoples' problems, but when it comes to yours – you have no idea where to begin? Exactly! Therefore, roleplay is a great choice.
You can ask a little one to take on the reporter's role and interview one of the older family members. The generation gap seems to be nonexistent when the two start ruminating about what matters in life.
4. Social Work
Regardless of how individualistic and independent we want to be, we are still part of society. To make this "relationship" work, we need to give back to the community.
Show kids the importance of contributing to the common well-being. It can be picking up trash in the neighborhood or planting trees in the park, etc.
Talk about social work and a clean environment. Talk about being grateful for all of the things the world has to offer.
5. Bare Necessities
What would you do if all of the shops were closed? Kids are used to getting things in a blink of an eye, but not all of them are as lucky as your little one.
Teach them appreciation and gratitude towards such, as we think, trivial things as food, clean water, shelter, etc. Show them that it is essential to cherish what you already have and be grateful for it.
Where does our beauty lie: in our similarities or differences? The world is filled with people of different races, backgrounds, religious shapes, and many other aspects that make us so unlike one another.
Educate your kids about the world and its "residents." Use books, cartoons, music, and other sources that will tell more about the global village. Teach them to appreciate and respect diversity. Help kids see the beauty in it.
Past is the best source of stories that you can tell your little one. Talk about the times you were a kid and what was important for you back then.
You are the best role model for your child. Therefore, talk about your past, what you were grateful for as a child.
You can also talk about the things you thought you knew and what you wish you had known. This way, you can give a kid some food to think about and help them set their moral compass.
8. Express your gratitude
So many aspects of life that depend on various organizations and people. If you think about it, we have so many people to thank for keeping us safe and sound.
Teach your child to be grateful for the services those firefighters, doctors, and other people provide. To help a little one express gratitude, you can help a kid bake cookies for firefighters in your town or one fire station. These can also be drawings or even a simple hug.
9. Importance of development
How difficult is it for you to find a piece of information? Probably it does not take too much effort, because you have access to the internet. But it's not always like this.
Show a little one that knowledge – is power and that it is crucial to gain new skills.
Take some online classes together and talk about their importance. Show a little one that it is important to cherish the ability to get new skills.
10. Make donations together
Kids should learn to do good and selfless deeds from a young age. This way, they will get used to the idea that it is important to help those who really need it.
Bake something together, donate warm (maybe hand-made) quilts or do anything you think is relevant. For instance, if you decide to go to a nursery house, prompt a little one to ask the people about one thing they are grateful for.
11. Friends all around the globe
Imagine what a fantastic experience it would be to get postcards from all around the world. For this reason, encourage your baby to get a pen pal. They will cherish each letter and "conversation" they have had.
12. Connect with communities in your city or town
Educate a little one about the importance of acceptance and tolerance.
13. "Thank You for…"
Show kids the importance of being grateful to people who do their job in order to make our life as comfortable as possible.
Encourage a child to create "Thank You for…" cards or letters to show gratitude. They can give them to anyone they like: office workers, policemen, office workers, etc.
14. Show gratitude as a family
There will always be ups and downs, yet we learn to deal with them and look for good wherever we can.
For this reason, create a box or a journal where each member of your family could write about good and bad things that have happened to them today and also something they are grateful for today.
15. How can I help?
There are many shelters for homeless people, animals, and other facilities that would appreciate volunteers' help.
Help kids understand the importance of helping people and the fact of being able to provide it.
16. Seek beauty in everything
How often do you put all tasks aside and actually appreciate the moment?
Teach kids to appreciate the beauty and look at the world with hope and positivity.
17. Clean planet
Take a moment to show a child the importance of taking care of the environment. Cultivate gratitude towards people who put effort into making the world a better and much cleaner place.
18. "I love my family!"
Very often, we tend to take the love of nearest and dearest for granted.
You can teach a child to be more appreciative of their relatives by (for instance) creating a family tree and diving into the world of stories and memories.
19. Envelopes filled with love
Talk about family and all of the people in a child's life. Help them understand how lucky they are to be loved by so many.
Kids can express their love, gratitude, and appreciation in many ways, for instance, by writing letters to these people.
20. Your work matters
How would you feel if one day, out of the blue, a child came to you and said, "Your work matters! You matter." Oh, it would have melted my heart and made my day or even the rest of my life!
Talk to a little one about the importance of being good, tolerant, and loving towards other people. This way, a child will learn to appreciate good in people.
Children are genuine and loving little humans. Their kind and warm eyes can make your heart melt. To retain this outstanding ability and appreciate each moment of their lives, kids grasp what gratitude is about by following the steps above.
If you find these tips to teaching kids gratitude, you also might want to check out the following relevant content:
Practical Steps For Parents To Teach Kids Kindness
How to Teach Growth Mindset to Children in 7 Practical Steps
5 Daily Steps to Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child
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