Thursday, October 30, 2014

help your kids have a thankful heart

With Thanksgiving around the corner, now is the perfect time to try these tips to help your children develop a habit of thankfulness.

shop & share.
Trips to the store are great opportunities to think of others. Next time you're at the grocery store, encourage your children to pick one or two canned goods to donate to AIM (Anderson Interfaith Ministries). After a few trips, gather up all your donations & have your kids help deliver it. (Click here to learn more about AIM's hunger ministries.)

write it down. 
Regularly keeping a list of things you are grateful for can build a rhythm of thankfulness into your day. Hang up a chalkboard or a large piece of paper & every night during dinner brainstorm things to add to your list. A daily time to reflect will help keep the whole family on the lookout for things to add.

thank your kids. 
We all teach our kids to say thank you when they receive a gift, but sometimes we forget how important everyday thank-you's are. Set an example by thanking your children for small things. Saying "thank you for sharing your snack with me" lets children know their efforts are appreciated & reminds them that thankfulness isn't reserved just for gifts.

notice the small things. 
giving attention to the small details around us is a great way to remember thankfulness. Collecting colorful leaves or pointing out the full moon in the night sky are great ways to remind kids of the beauty surrounding them & how much there is to be grateful for in nature. 

practice giving compliments. 
Help your children learn to recognize the gifts of people you encounter everyday by giving compliments. When we focus on the unique things other people do instead of focusing on ourselves, we are more thankful of the people around us. 

write love notes. 
ask your kids to write a handwritten note or draw a picture for whom they're thankful. Ask them to pick someone who makes their lives brighter & to share with that person some specific things they appreciate about them. 

(Adapted from Fall 2014 "Hello Darling" magazine)

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