There are moments when I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for instilling gratitude in my children, like when my three year old sweetly thanks my mother for bringing dinner home. Then there are moments when I wonder how in the world I have failed so miserably in instilling gratitude in my children, like when my five year old son falls into hysteria that he can’t have his own iPhone.
They share those roles equally, of course. They fly from one end of the spectrum to the other with disconcerting ease and precision.
This Thanksgiving I am left pondering how I can intentionally help them nurture and harvest their own little crop of appreciation and heartfelt gratitude. Thanks to inspiration from this blogger, I busted out the pretty adorable fall/thanksgiving scrapbook paper that I have been saving for it’s well deserved day in the sun, and we made a chain link countdown calendar the other day. We pulled off our first day’s link, and I asked them what they were thankful for that day, and then (while writing “skateboard” and “princess dress”) I remembered that they are 3 and 5, and don’t quite get it yet.
So, now I am asking them guided questions each day, like “What is your favorite thing about your brother/sister? Why do you like ____? Let’s take a minute to thank each other for ______ and be happy that we are a family.”
I am still working on it….
What I would like to know is how YOU help your children to learn gratitude and thankfulness? What have you done that has worked? What have you tried that was a flop? I’d like to make a collective “top 10” list of your ideas, and share them here! Let me know what your ideas are, and maybe it will end up on our list!