Easy steps to teach children to be thankful all year long!

Being thankful shouldn’t be reserved for one festive day in the month of November. There are simple things we can do, alone and as a family, to reinforce the importance of being thankful all year long.

Get outside and enjoy nature.  Take time to spend time doing things with your child outside.  As you are outside point out the simple things in nature and appreciate them. Also, explain how important nature is for our basic needs.  We take for granted the most basic but sometimes most important things in life.

Another place where we get in a hurry and forget to be thankful is at meal time.  Most of us always have more than enough food.  We forget that some people aren’t as fortunate and we forget to teach this to our children.  We need to say thanks at meal time.  We need to talk to our children about all the people it takes just to have food on the table.  The farmer, truck drivers, people in a factory, the people that work at the grocery store, and the person that bought and prepared the meal all have a role in getting food on our table.  This is not a lesson that we teach one time.  We will need to revisit this periodically as adults and children we are quick to forget. 

Most importantly lead by example!  Thank your children and others when they do something kind big or small.  Show your children how to be kind and they will see others being thankful as well.  Even when things are not going well try to find something to be positive about, for your children need it most during this time.  Talk to your children and reflect.  Ask them what they are thankful for and share what you are thankful for.  When we are thankful we are much happier than when we are looking for more and forgetting the most important things in life.  You and your children will see a big change in your life. Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I hope you will teach your family to be thankful!

*image courtesy of Cindi Albright / flickr creative commons

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