Thanksgiving is almost here and I’ve been pondering the topic of teaching thankfulness to my children. I was inspired by an article in the online magazine by Sam’s Club – Healthy Living Made Simple, where mother and doctor Tovah P. Klein writes, “Thankfulness is a skill that develops over time. As children’s cognitive abilities develop, they can understand that others may have different views, ideas and feelings. This is difficult for younger children, but they get better at it as they get older.” She explains that coaxing children to say “thank you” is not how they learn to be thankful. Children learn best by watching their parents and caretakers. #SimplyHealthy #CollectiveBias
Dr. Klein’s words inspired me. As I look back on the last few years with my two boys, I realize there are some things I’ve learned to do well when it comes to teaching my toddlers about thankfulness. I’ve also come to realize that there are some things I need to avoid doing in order to keep a thankful attitude and heart. Here I’ll share 8 Tips for Teaching Toddlers Thankfulness. Lots of fun family photos included.
This shop was previously sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
8 Tips for Teaching Toddlers Thankfulness
1. Rest encourages a thankful heart. Remember that kids get tired, cranky, and worn-out too. Just like we need rest to be refreshed, our kids do as well. From a place of rest we are better able to teach and inspire thankfulness.
2. Don’t overcommit. Getting pulled into too many directions over the holiday season only leads to chaos and does not lend itself well to time for reflection on all the things we are thankful for.
3. Be thankful for the little things. Sometimes the things we take for granted can be a great source for renewing a thankful heart. Take a moment to point out the small things and teach your toddler or preschooler about some of life’s often overlooked gifts.
4. Reconnect with nature. Get outside to discover new things to be thankful for. Take young children with you and show them how. This small bird flew into our sliding glass door and knocked himself onto the deck. I scooped him up with a soft jacket. Once he gathered his bearings he flew away. It was a great opportunity to show my boys some wildlife up close and explain the important role we play in taking care of the creation around us.
5. Dance like no one is watching. Our family loves to dance and play, and have fun and we don’t let our silly appearance stop us. We encourage our kids to do the same. Rejoicing in good health and mobility is a great way to cultivate thankfulness.
6. Take the road less traveled. Sometimes a slight detour is all you need to renew a thankful heart. I love how my niece and nephew wander away from the wedding aisle and head for open terrain. Sometimes you just need to go for a walk to set things straight and revive a spirit of thankfulness and joy.
7. Give and receive more hugs in thanks. Thanksgiving is a season of new beginnings. We can show our kids how to love on others with lots of warm hugs. Healthy touch is an important part of growth and development for kids and grown-ups. I give my boys hugs of thanks every time they do something right, and I give lots of other hugs “just because”.
8. Say “Thank you” to those who serve. Parades, local museums, churches, libraries and even fairs are a great place to point out all of the people who serve. By modeling our thanks for our kids to see, they learn how to do the same. As Dr. Klein explains, “When parents say “please” and “thank you” to their child, they learn that behavior.”
The Sam’s Club – Healthy Living Made Simple is a free iPhone App that comes with a bimonthly magazine containing family wellness, fitness and diet information, plus, stay up-to-date with health-related events at your local Sam’s Club. Best of all – it’s FREE. If you’re a Sam’s club member and have an iPhone or iPad, check out this helpful app. I found this inspiring article on Healthy Living Parenting Article in the November/December 2014 issue of their online magazine.
And a special Thanks to Dr. Klein for her article on Teaching Toddlers Thankfulness, and to Sam’s Club for this easy-to-use fun, free app. You can download this Healthy Living Made Simple App for your iPad or iPod by clicking this link: FREE Healthy Living Made Simple App. Sam’s Club can also be found online at:
- Twitter- https://twitter.com/SamsClub
- Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/samsclub
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/samsclub
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/samsclub/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+samsclub
Do you have some tips on teaching thankfulness to toddlers or preschoolers that you would like to share? Please leave a comment below – I love hearing from my readers.
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P.S. – I blog to encourage moms, offer free preschool tools, and share ideas for family fun. If you enjoy free recipes, printables, crafts and games for little ones, ideas for family fun and encouraging posts for moms, sign up and have Happy and Blessed Home delivered to your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail address here: