How do you teach your children to be thankful? At what age do you teach them? Or do you even think about this part of training?
Thanksgiving season isn't the only time that we need to draw our attention to this character trait. We need to start early and young, with a daily focus on being thankful for the little things in our life, so we can train our children to be grateful and thankful daily.
Here are some easy tips to helping you training your toddler to be thankful:
- When your child is happy, draw attention to the feelings that he is having at the moment. Say something like, “I can tell you are happy about seeing your cousins. Aren't you thankful we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them!”
- When your child has recovered from being sick and can play again, say something along these lines, “It is good to see you playing again, aren't you thankful that your health has returned, so you can play again?”
- When a child gives something to a friend, draw attention to the ability to give to others by simply saying, “Doesn't it feel good to be able to bless your friend? Aren't you thankful that we were able to do that for them?”
- When you have a wonderful outing with family or friends, reflect on the time or events by asking your toddler what was their favorite moment of the day. After having some time to discuss these memories, add a reflection like, “Aren't you thankful that this is something that we were able to do?”
The more you identify the feelings that a child will have naturally and introduce the vocabulary of ‘thankfulness' the easier it will be for your toddler to learn what it means to be thankful. Have a toddler who has been trained in thankfulness will result in a very giving and appreciative teen and adult, who will be compassionate to the needs of others and be able to smile at the simple things in life with a true sense of thankfulness.