Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cultivating Thankfulness in Preschoolers: Part 2

Below are a few more ideas on cultivating gratitude in your child.  If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.  Also, thank you for your feedback and suggestions!  I love reading your comments and learning from you! 

Teach Your Child to Say "Thank You" Early and Often
When the girls were babies, I taught them a few words in sign language.  The first being "Please" and the second being "Thank you".  Although I still give plenty of reminders, I am seeing some fruit from this process!  Also, consider including your child in writing thank you notes -- even a preschooler can scribble a special "note" (with your interpretation, of course)!

Make a special time during the day when you share something that has happened and tell why you are thankful.  Even in hard times or difficult circumstances, you can teach your child to be grateful.  Passionate Homemaking has a wonderful article about giving thanks and includes a story from the life of Matthew Henry.  He had this to say after being robbed: 
“Let me be thankful, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed!”

Keep a Record of Your Thanks
There are many ways to do this, but the point is to have a written record of thanks you can reflect upon next year and the year after that and so on.  Tomorrow, I will share a simple notebook we made.

Give Thanks in Prayer
It is easy for prayer to become selfish.  I noticed one day as we were praying, my children's prayers were all about asking for things and not about thanking God for His blessings.  Now, we brainstorm and discuss what we are thankful for before we pray.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17



Blogger KBH said...

i hope that i am doing a good job of instilling gratefulness in my children, too. every night at the dinner table we each go around and say our favorite part of the day, our least favorite part of the day and something we are grateful for. it's fun to see what the kids come up with ;)and it's a good reminder for Joe and I too that at the end of the day there are many things the be grateful for!

November 11, 2010 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Jackie H. said...

Great post. I've tried to teach my 2 yr old to say thank you. He likes to bc people always respond so happily when he says thanks. I just hope it lasts!

November 12, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

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