3 Ways to Teach Your Kids Thankfulness

By Julia Bauer
Wooden pumpkin painted orange with white polka dots that says "Be thankful"

It is no secret that parents want to set good examples for their kids. Well, monkey see, monkey do! Being an excellent role model for your kids will encourage them to be superb citizens, too. And, as a parent, you can smile and sleep well knowing that your kids look up to you. The holiday season provides many opportunities to show your little ones the importance of being thankful and what it means to give back to the community. Here are 3 ways to teach your kids thankfulness and practice with them.

Volunteer at a food bank

Getting out and giving back to your community is a great way to teach your kids thankfulness. Volunteering at a local food bank will not only help your child understand how to give back, but it will also be fulfilling for you. This is a hands-on way to show you kids why gratitude is important because it opens their eyes to the fact that not everyone has food, clothes, toys or a family like theirs. It also exposes them to the power of volunteering.

Donate to a toy drive

As your children begin making their Christmas lists and writing letters to Santa asking for gifts, introduce the idea of donating their old toys to a toy drive. Encourage your kids to clean their rooms and give the older, less-used toys they find a second chance to make someone else happy. This is another opportunity to help them understand the importance of gratitude. Explain to them that they were fortunate to play with that toy when they were younger and that it can make another little kid happy now, just like it made them!

Say – or write – your thanks!

Sit down with your kids at dinner or after school and take turns saying what you are thankful for! You can say anything, like your lunch, the weather or each other. Saying what you are thankful for out loud will encourage your kids to take their turn, and it will make them more comfortable with expressing thanks in the future. Or, you can journal about what you are thankful for together!

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