November is a month of thanks, thanks to our veterans and then thanks for our families and things we love or appreciate. I wanted to do something for thanks and teach our children about why it is important to teach your children to give thanks to others, and I stumbled on a site that you would not have thought would be all about thanks, but it had just what I wanted. https://www.naturalbeachliving.com/alphabet-gratitude-list
There are lots of creative ways you can help kids show their gratitude. Why not try a gratitude challenge with your children? Have them make a gratitude list from A-Z filling each letter with gratitude word or idea. After they have completed their own list save it for Thanksgiving Week to share with each other. Next, talk about the following A-Z Gratitude List and do some or all of these things during the month of November. What better way to teach gratitude than to do many of these suggestions:
A to Z Gratitude List
Being willing to say you’re sorry is an important way you can show your love and appreciation for others. Learning to compromise is a valuable life skill to teach kids. Sometimes being right isn’t what’s most important. Teaching kids to apologize sincerely is a great way to cultivate grateful hearts.
B Bake Cookies
Baking cookies together is an excellent way to help your children show gratitude. Use your favorite cookie recipe, let the kids help, and talk about who and what you’re thankful for while you bake. Then, deliver the cookies with handwritten notes from the kids to helpers in your community: police officers, firefighters, and nurses.
C Collage of Gratitude
Making a collage together is a good way for little ones to begin to think about what they’re grateful for in life in a creative way. Talk about all the people, places, and things they’ve included in their special gratitude collage. Hang it up somewhere your children can easily see and be reminded of all the things they’re grateful for.
Giving to others can help anyone to feel gratitude for their blessings. Encouraging children to donate at an early age helps them to focus on others and begin to recognize just how fortunate they truly are.
Little ones can donate old toys to children in need while older ones can donate something they may have or just clothes they no longer wear, do chores to earn money to donate to a favorite charity, or donate their time helping a grandparent or teacher.
E Establish a Ritual
Making gratitude a habit helps give kids lots of opportunities to practice, so establishing a ritual is a great way to make showing gratitude second nature for your children.
One way you can establish a gratitude ritual is to have everyone take turns saying one thing they’re thankful for from their day at dinner each night. I’m sure you can think of some easy gratitude rituals to incorporate into your daily life too.
F Family Project
Why not make practicing gratitude a family project? For example, creating a family bulletin board where everyone can add notes of gratitude is a great way to get everyone involved.
G Gratitude Journal
Encourage children to keep their own gratitude journal. It’s a good idea for adults too! Spend time writing down things you’re thankful for each day. Older children may choose to keep their journals private and young kids might need help. Another fun idea is for parents to write notes of gratitude to their children in the journals as well.
H Help Others
Helping others is something you can do at any age. It’s a simple but meaningful way to show gratitude. Children can hold doors, help with simple chores, and help to cheer people who aren’t feeling well.
I Include Details to Show Appreciation
One important gratitude lesson for kids is to remember to include details. Showing appreciation for specific things helps to show that you truly are grateful.
J Jar of Thanks
You could also create a gratitude jar for kids and parents to contribute to. Be sure to keep the jar, paper, and a pencil easily accessible for all family members. Then, encourage everyone to write down things they’re grateful for and add them to the jar. Reading the papers together can be a fun way to help children build a habit of gratitude.
K Kindness One of the main places children need to learn kindness is within the family. Even as adults we are most time less kind to those we love the most. Teach your children to be kind especially to those they love.
Similar to journaling, listing all the things you have to be thankful for can be a really helpful way to focus on the good things even in difficult times. Encouraging children to remember all their blessings can help them to feel grateful even when they are sad or angry.
M Make the Most of Moments
Take time to enjoy all life’s little moments! Learning to be grateful by being present is an important lesson especially now that technology has become a nearly constant companion. Teaching your children to be present and make the most of the moments they are given will keep them focused on what’s really important.
N Notes or Cards
Writing notes or cards of appreciation and gratitude to friends and family is an excellent way to show you care. Getting your kids involved adds a fun and personal touch while teaching them the importance of showing others our gratitude.
O Open your hearts to those who could use some extra love, like grandparents, neighbors or those in nursing homes by having them decorate a heart and putting kinds words in the heart.
P Play a game where kids have to answer with things they are thankful for or say something nice about someone else.
Q Quest, go on a quest while the weather is still not too cold and look at the many things in nature to be thankful for.
R Random Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness are special little ways you can show gratitude and love for others. Encouraging kids to participate in these acts of kindness is one way to help them build an attitude of gratitude in a fun and easy way.
It’s a hard lesson for kids of all ages, but learning to share our blessings with others is an important way to show gratitude for the blessings we have been given.
T Take time to spend with those you love.
U Uplift Others
Offering sincere compliments and words of encouragement to loved ones is an easy way to lift their spirits and show our appreciation for their role in our lives. Compliments are free and easy for people of all ages to use to show gratitude.
Get your kids involved in volunteer work to help them become aware of their blessings and learn to feel grateful for their good fortune. You can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or volunteer to clean up trash in your community.
W Work on something special for someone else, whether it is cleaning trash or leaves in the yard or doing chores for your parents.
X Not a true X but be a good example for others
Y You are special and don’t forget to do something special for yourself every once in a while.
Z Zest, show your children a zest for life and things you love.
*I made the ones that were missing from their list K, O, P, Q, T, W, X, Y, and Z.
Enjoy those special moments with your kids, especially the older ones, while they will still do things with the family.
*Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at [email protected]
Remember to be kind and love each other and continue to set a good example for our children. See you next week with new ideas and ways to help your children or ideas that may help you as you raise your children in some way. God Bless you all.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights