It’s the season of gratitude! In honor of Thanksgiving, The Kangaroo Forest has a few tips for teaching your child about gratitude:
Show gratitude for your child
The first step to helping your child understand the concept of gratitude is by showing them what it looks like. When your child helps fold laundry or picks up the toys in their playroom, offer your thanks for their efforts:
“Thank you! I’m so lucky to have such a helpful child!”
“I appreciate your help with dinner tonight! I couldn’t have done it without you.”
“That’s a beautiful drawing! Thank you. I love it so much, I will have to hang it on the fridge.”
Children learn by doing. When you thank your child, they will observe this behavior and are more likely to become generous givers and gracious receivers. The key to this strategy is consistently using “thank you”, “please”, and “you’re welcome” around your child until they have begun using these phrases.
Say “no” sometimes
Sometimes, we can all be push-overs and give in to the desires of our children — that’s parental love! However, we recommend saying “no” sometimes. If a child is always given what they want when they want it, they never quite grasp that all things require effort and hard work — they grow to believe things are simply handed to them!
When you tell a child “no”, they grow to appreciate “yes.” This is also a great lesson in teaching your child to work for the things they want. If there is a toy they want from the store, tell them they must earn the money to purchase the toy by helping with household chores. When they finally earn the money they need, purchasing the toy will be even more gratifying.
Practice being charitable
Assisting those in need is not only a great way to contribute to society, but also a wonderful way to show your child all they have to be grateful for. Whether you offer financial assistance or donate clothes/food, use this practice to have a conversation with your child: “Some people don’t have the same luxuries we do, which is why we help them. Aren’t we so lucky to have what we have?”
The Kangaroo Forest is forever grateful for our parents, community, and their continued support. Happy Thanksgiving — from our families to yours! For more information regarding our childcare programs, click here.