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How to Teach Your Kids to Be Grateful

Every mother knows that kids will often get the “gimmies,” but it always seems worst around this time of year.

You can hardly blame them, with being bombarded with advertisements everywhere showing the latest must-have toys and gadgets, or trendiest fashions. So, what can you do, among all of this commercialism, to not deny your kids presents, but also teach them to be more grateful and appreciate the miracles of the season?

Regardless of your beliefs, this time of year offers a great opportunity to take a look around and be grateful for everything you have. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the “shopping” season, you can stand out by simply choosing to be content—and by teaching your kids how to be content too.

Here are a few tips to teach your kids how to be thankful this holiday season and all year round!

  1. Lead by example –Say “thank you” in your home. Show appreciation to your kids when they do something you asked of them. When others serve you, like at a store or restaurant, give them a genuine thank you. These two simple words can be very powerful. It lets others know you appreciate them. A simple thank you could make their day!
  2. Don’t buy everything they want –It’s natural to feel the need to buy your kids everything they beg for. When my oldest daughter was young, I stood in the cold in front of Toys R Us so I could buy her the Barbie Dream House. Unfortunately, the more you give, the more they want.
  3. Volunteer as a family – You might sing carols at a nursing home or bring gifts for a child in the hospital. You could also reach out to a local organization that cares for people in need and ask how you can help. Talk to your kids about the why behind what you’re doing, before and after you go. That will make for some memorable and rewarding conversations!
  4. Give something away –Tell your kids you want to bless others just like you have been blessed. Explain that your family will be donating gently used items now that the holidays are over. If needed, give your kids a little nudge. They’re bound to have books or toys lying around untouched that could mean the world to someone else – even better if the can part with something they really loved, or meant something to them, and explain how it can now be special to someone else, who may need it more than you do now.
  5. Teach them to be gracious and respectful all year round –The holiday season is over but gratitude and respect for others doesn’t go to the curb with the Christmas tree or packed up back in the closet with the Menorah. Teaching them to be gracious and respectful all year is important.


Do you have any other tips you would like to share on how to teach kids to be grateful and appreciative? Please reply using the comments below.


About Cynthia Lechan-Goodman

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