Ways to teach your children thankfulness

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 6:17 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - This year’s Thanksgiving is already looking different for many families, making tough choices about whether to gather for the tradition. But when it comes to Thanksgiving, experts say you can still build a holiday with your kids that teach thankfulness.

As COVID-19 cases surge, the weather turns cooler and “normal” feels far away - it is very important to help children find normalcy, and traditions can help with that.

Carissa Garabedian with Macaroni Kid Richmond has some ideas to stay grounded in thankfulness when there is so much in the world to feel worried about.

Here were her best tips:

  1. Teach By Example - We all learn from observing, and children learn so much just from watching their parents and others around them. Simple steps like saying thank you, holding a door open and even letting your kids know you appreciate the help they give, will all reinforce the patterns for them to continue.
  2. Create a Daily Gratitude Family Time - Choose what works for your family and your schedule. If you tend to have a certain meal together, or maybe for your family it will be bedtime, allow everyone in your family to list three things they are thankful for.
  3. Share and Give Back to Your Community - Bake cookies or pick some flowers and bring them to people to who your children are thankful for.
  4. Involve Children - Let your children be a part of chores at home. When kids see all that is involved in getting dinner prepared, getting errands done and the process of it all, it helps them see that “things don’t just happen.” They learn that it takes work, time and effort. They will learn to appreciate more of the day-in-day-out routines.
  5. Volunteer With Your Children - Let them choose something that they believe in or have a passion for. Commit to some time together to volunteer in some capacity, even if it is two hours a month. Your heart will feel full and your children will learn about the beauty of giving back.
  6. Incorporate Thankfulness at Your Thanksgiving Table - You could have a Thanksgiving Bowl where everyone writes down one thing they are thankful for and place in a bowl. Before dinner, pass the bowl around and have everyone choose one to read aloud. You could also do a Thanksgiving Banner where you cut out triangles from whatever paper you have in the house, write things to be thankful for on each one, tape it to a long ribbon and place it somewhere in the house.

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