Teaching thankfulness

Ok, i admit. I'm a holiday junkie. I just love every occasion to gather the family and eat some nice food. In Sweden we don't really think much of Thanksgiving though, but after moving out to Singapore, a completely different story. It is a wonderful opportunity to teach children to be thankful for the blessings of life. Here are simple ways to help instill a spirit of thankfulness in your children.

1. Be an example of gratefulness in daily life. Simply say ‘thank you’ for the things that you are happy to receive; from passing the salt shaker to a quick hug as you pass in the hall way; model a pleasant ‘thank you’.

2.Discuss with your children what they are thankful for.  This can be a simple conversation in the car, during a meal, or before you go to bed. Just ask, “What are you thankful for today?”

3. In our economy today, times are difficult. Material things and activities may not be available. Help your children focus on the blessings that are sometimes taken for granted: a warm home, love and compassion for one another, friends, and family.

4. I encourage you to appreciate the little things in life such as a walk in the park, playing in leaves, a piece of pumpkin pie, a beautiful sunny day, a hug, snuggling with your child as you read a favorite book…the list can go on forever! Don’t let simple, special moments quickly slip away. Drink them in and savor them. Say to your loved ones,”I am so thankful for you!”

5. Think of people who are special to your family. Discuss what they have done and how it is appreciated. In our life, our dearest friends haven’t typically given us stuff or things, they have given us moments of time, loving support, and words encouragement when we were discouraged. You and your children can write notes, preschoolers can draw a pictures, and all can be mailed to express appreciation to friends.

Simple moments each day, can instill a spirit of thankfulness in the hearts and minds of your home.