While we always instill the message of giving thanks around the holidays and Thanksgiving, it’s important to teach our kids to be thankful for what they have all the time. We all have those times when we focus on what we want or don’t have rather than being grateful for the blessings we already do. Kids will benefit from realizing this message at an early age. It helps them grow into compassionate adults and understand that we all have so very much to be thankful for.
Perhaps your child is always asking for a baby brother or sister or wonders why his friend has so many cousins but he only has two. Here’s a chance to teach your kids to be thankful for the family they do have in their life. Having tons of relatives is just as great as having only a few. The love shared is all the same in the end. Bigger can sometimes be better, but not necessarily. You can explain to your kids that with a small family, they get more time devoted to them. Closer bonds can be formed. If you have it the other way around, and your child feels he’s lost in the mix of dozens of cousins and many siblings, remind him that he’ll never be alone and will always have a family member to turn to in good times and in bad. The grass is green on both sides – it all depends on how you look at it. Any family is a family to be thankful for!
Friends are always a blessing. Whether your child is wildly popular and has dozens of pals or is more of a loner and only has one or two close companions, friendships are relationships to be thankful for. You can take this chance to explain to your child that a true friend doesn’t care what you look like, how much you have or where you come from. When kids learn that friendship can be found all around them, love is everywhere. Remind them that their family members are their friends too. Neighbors can be friends. Even pets can be wonderful companions. With all the chances your child will have to meet new people and form new friendships over the years, it’s truly something to look forward to and be thankful for. Remind your child to be a good friend too, and to treat his peers with respect and gratitude.
The next time your child complains about what you’ve served them for lunch or dinner (which he surely will) remind him that any food is nutrition to be thankful for. Many families around the world struggle every day to put food on the table. This isn’t a time to make your child feel badly, but a chance to teach him to be grateful for the food your family has. It’s also an opportunity to find ways to help those less fortunate, whether it’s by participating in a food drive or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Another way to teach your child to appreciate food is to grow vegetables together and cook meals as a family. It will help your child appreciate where food comes from and the effort it takes to make a meal. Preparing meals together is a great bonding experience too.
How do you teach your kids to be thankful? We’d love to hear about it! For more articles like this, please visit All My Children Daycare.
By: Melissa A. Kay