With the holidays in full swing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of it all. This is a special time of year that’s not just about the lights and sounds of the holidays. It’s also a time of year to show and tell your children why you are so thankful for them. 

November is an easy month to remember to be thankful because of Thanksgiving, but why can’t we show our thankfulness in the other months of the year? This is a great time of year to teach our children what it means to be thankful. This is something you can begin with in November and continue throughout the year. 

For many families, this is a busy time of year. But taking a few minutes every day with your child to think about what you are thankful for can go a long way in teaching your child about gratitude. 

While the family is all together, ask them what they are thankful for and why they are thankful for these things. It might take a little while for your family to think about it and that’s ok. With parents of young children, this concept might be hard to understand. Talking with your toddler and showing them what you are thankful for can help deepen their understanding of gratitude.  

Teaching thankfulness can be a hard concept for toddlers to understand, so turning it into a game can help build their understanding. You can practice thankfulness by showing your child how much you love and care for them. Some examples of showing your child how much you care for them are:

  • Reading an extra story at night
  • Singing an extra song with them
  • Giving an extra hug before dropping your child off at school

While doing these things, let your child know you are thankful for them. 

 Try bringing up thankfulness each month thereafter. There can be a different item the entire family is thankful for that month. For example, in the month of June, you and your family might want to talk about all the fruits and vegetables they are thankful for and have each member of the household say which one they are thankful for. This might remind you of some things your child enjoys eating, or hasn’t eaten in a while. You can make comparisons and see if anyone else in the family likes it as well. Put it on your calendar each month to remember to be thankful for something else, like a different item or theme. 

Here are just some items to choose from that your whole family can say what they are thankful for: family, animals, food, plants, colors, art, memories, flowers, seasons, weather, toys, books, or pets.

Have fun together and be thankful for your wonderful family. 

Kalina Glover Moresi is Parenting Now’s Children’s Program Coordinator.

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