Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many—and with good reason! Not only is the holiday enjoyed with loved ones and delicious in so many ways, but more importantly, it’s about what the holiday represents: gratitude. It's a time when we come together to reflect on what we're thankful for and express our appreciation for the blessings in our lives!
As parents, it's essential to instill the value of gratitude in our children from a young age. Teaching children to be thankful fosters a positive outlook and helps them develop empathy and resilience, key characteristics that can benefit them throughout the rest of their lives.
In this blog, we'll explore top tips on how to help your child practice gratitude this Thanksgiving season and every day after!
Teaching Gratitude & Showing by Example
Although Thanksgiving is a holiday to reflect on what you are thankful for, it's also an essential concept for everyday use. The best way to teach your child gratitude is to always lead by example, and what better way to do so than expressing gratitude daily?
Try to make it a point in your day-to-day life to talk about things you’re thankful for and why! A great time to reflect is through dinner conversations or right before bedtime. By adding this to your daily routine, you’ll be sure to make a lasting impression on your little ones, not only for Thanksgiving but beyond!
Positive Practices & Grateful Reinforcements
Another great way to encourage your child to show appreciation is to keep a gratitude journal for daily things they’re thankful for. It can be as simple as a sunny day, a smile from a teacher, or a friend's kind gesture. This way, they can write it down and reflect on their daily positive encounters. This will help your child focus on positive practices and reinforce that there’s always something to be grateful for!
If they’re not one for writing, they could always practice this with gratitude cards written for them! For example, our 'Growing in Gratitude' cards promote acts of kindness for your child each day. Discuss how the gift of giving, no matter how big or small, can make both the giver and receiver feel loved and appreciated!
You can even make it a family tradition centered around gratitude cards. For example, go around the table during Thanksgiving dinner and have each family member share something they are thankful for. You can also create a gratitude jar where everyone drops notes of appreciation throughout the year and reads them together on Thanksgiving!
Pro Tip: Motivate your young journalists at night by looking the part with cozy fall pajamas that are perfect for bedtime reflections! For cute ideas, you can visit any boy's clothing boutique or look for girls' boutique pajamas!
Giving Back This Holiday Season
Another way to express gratitude this Thanksgiving is by helping others! You could volunteer as a family to show your child the importance of giving back and why it matters. Whether you’re serving meals at a local shelter or participating in a charity event, these experiences will allow your child to understand the value of gratitude and kindness, especially when helping those in need!
Spreading Acts of Kindness
You can always practice gratitude through little acts of kindness, even if they don’t necessarily need it! Teach your child thankfulness by doing generous things for others and explain why it makes a difference. From helping a friend with homework to doing chores around the house for a sibling, it’s important to encourage your child to help with tasks and assist others. Whether the job is large or small, it will surely go a long way for the receiving recipient, no matter what!
Teach your child the importance of saying thank you! Encourage thank you notes this fall season by having your child write to family members, friends, and teachers who have impacted their lives. This will help show appreciation and how to reinforce giving and receiving graciously by spreading love and bringing joy to others!
Pro Tip: Have your child put their written notes in envelopes to decorate and deliver them personally to the mailbox (as long as they’re local) for some added fun!
If your child is in the beginning stages of writing, this is a great activity to help improve their writing skills. Not only will your child learn the importance of expressing appreciation for others by writing down their thoughts and feelings, but it can also be educational, which is a win-win for everyone!
Teaching your child how to be present this holiday season and appreciate the little things in life is an excellent way to express gratitude! Help your child with this activity by encouraging them to take a few minutes each day to focus on themselves and what they’re grateful for!
Another way to facilitate mindfulness is by reading about it! Books can be a great way to teach kids the meaning of gratitude, allowing them to understand what the word truly means. A great example is a book called ‘The Thank You Dish’ by Trace Balla, a story about gratitude and community. You could always incorporate this as part of your bedtime routine by making it a great way to spend time together while also teaching valuable life skills!
Whether you read about it or explain to your child why we give thanks, it’s a way for them to understand the history of Thanksgiving beyond just the food and festivities!
There are so many ways to practice gratitude with your children, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start and continue with it! Even your littlest ones can join in on the fun with these activities to start teaching and practicing gratitude at a young age so it can carry on! At Simply Blessed Kids, we truly believe in acts of kindness and thankfulness and want to help bring the value of this to your little ones! That’s why we take pride in our hand-selected products that will help create lasting memories for you and your family!
So, don’t forget to visit our Fall Boutique Collection and help make your Thanksgiving extra special this year! From boutique fall clothing to infant fall pajamas, we’ve got you covered this Season!
No matter how you choose to reflect this Thanksgiving, we wish you and your family a heartfelt and gratitude-filled Holiday!