Adapted from blogs.brighthorizons.com
• Model Gratefulness. You are your children’s most important role model. Using grateful language and positive reinforcement is a great way to show children how to be grateful. “The playroom looks great with all your toys put away. I’m so happy you cleaned up!”
• Say Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome. Use these words for both small and big things. In fact, you can never overdo it – it will make a difference. Have them become an important part of your family’s language.
• Share Appreciation Daily. During family dinners, talk about their day. Ask the kids “what’s something good that happened today?” For the Thanksgiving season ask, “What’s something nice you did for someone? Or, what’s something nice someone did for you?”
• Encourage “Eye Contact” Thank You’s during Gift-Giving Holidays. Kids love presents! They open them very quickly. During these times, encourage them to personally “thank” the gift giver. This should include making eye contact. They should also say the name of the person they are thanking.
• Make Thank You Notes or Cards. It’s nice for children to make “thank you” notes for gifts received during special occasions. For little kids, parents can write them and kids can color the card. As they get older, they will continue this as they make their own thank you notes.
• Volunteer or Do a Charity Project. We have a lot of opportunities to help the needy. It’s important to make sure to involve the children in the service projects. Discuss why people need Thanksgiving food and other things.
• Set Shopping Expectations. Parents should tell their children, “Today, we are getting a present for your friend’s birthday at the toy store. If you see something you want, you can write it on your birthday/holiday list.”
• Be Patient, Consistent & Persistent. Children are solid thinkers. Gratitude is a character trait that takes time to develop. With some patience and persistence, you’ll be on the road to raising a grateful child.
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