Teaching kids gratitude during the holiday season can be a challenge. Sometimes it feels like we spend all of our energy on creating memorable holiday experiences, decorating things just-so, and finding the right gift (a few times over) for our favorite people. Then, as the season draws to a close, we realize that there is a lot of giving but not a lot of gratitude.
But it’s about more than gifts. As parents, we don’t need our kids to bend over backwards telling us how grateful they are for the things we give them. What we really want - the reason we jump headlong into the holiday craziness and wait on hours-long lines - is to make memories that our children will cherish. To start and continue traditions that make them happy, that remind them, and us, of how grateful we are to have each other.
We’ve gathered a few of our favorite posts to help you teach your kids about gratitude this season, and to keep the grateful vibes well into the new year.
I try to use gratitude in my home as a regular on-going conversation with my son. When we focus on gratitude, it can create good feeling and closeness. Sometimes I will ask my son during dinner what happened in his day that made him feel grateful.
Other times as I am tucking him into bed, I will tell him the 5 things about my day that I am grateful for and ask him about his.
There are a lot of other ways to introduce gratitude into a conversation, to make it into a game and to keep it present. I find that talking about what we are grateful for shifts things. It makes the mood more positive, lighter and gentler…
I’m thinking of something that begins with the letter…
We all know the popular road trip game, where you work your way through the alphabet, guessing something that begins with each letter of the alphabet while the person who is “it” provides clues to the guessers.
Customize this game for your table. Take turns going clockwise around the table (or starting youngest to oldest). The first person who is “it” says “I’m grateful for something that begins with the letter A.” Each person around the table guesses what that is based on hints.
This is a fun, easy, and interactive way to share what you are thankful for. It is also a natural way to start a conversation around gratitude, and to teach you what little things matter to your loved ones.
Rather than list out resolutions, ways we want to be different, things we want to change about ourselves or our circumstances, we are choosing to focus on intention. All of us at Portraits that Move are committing to living and working and observing with intention.
Rather than a resolution to be more, to do more, to change this or that in a quest for a goal, this year, we are listening to that voice that reminds us to stop, to look at our life, at our work and at our goals and to determine how they align with our intention to find joy and to be grateful…
How are you practicing gratitude with your kids during the holiday season? Share with us on Facebook!