Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Whatever Wednesday- Teaching Children (and Ourselves) Gratitude
Yesterday parenting class was on Teaching our Children Gratitude. The classes preceding were Teaching Children to Work and Teaching Service. Today she summed it up that the basis for true humility is through hard work, service and gratitude. Teaching and acting upon these three things takes the ME factor out and helps us focus OUT.
Sadly, I have misplaced my parenting notebook temporarily (in the move), which has all my notes from class in it. (They are last year's notes obviously.) But basically, to inherit true humility and selflessness, we must learn (as do our kids) to work hard until it's uncomfortable, serve others because we love God and His children (our fellow men), and feel gratitude for all that we've been blessed with; which if you really sit down and think about it, we are SO blessed just living in the United States alone.
We were warned against giving our children things all the time. It's the going without that builds gratitude in our hearts. This economy has given me so much gratitude for what I have. I feel so very blessed.
Part of teaching our children gratitude is to teach them proper manners and respect for others. Role play practice is my favorite way to teach these things to my kids. (They love it, and it seems to sink in better!) We learned that as parents WE must be the ones to provide/create experiences for our children to learn these things.
A few great ideas for practicing gratitude in our homes, that I got from class today were: 1. From now until Christmas, make a paper chain as a family; each link with something you are grateful for to be taken off and discussed at dinner every night.
2. Have a gratitude box that gets passed around all month for family members to write down what they are grateful for and every night taking one out to talk about as a family.
3. Decide as a family something you can do help a needy family for the holidays, and carry out the plan.
Last year I made a poster of a bare tree and had orange leaves cut out for us to write down things we are grateful for and post onto the tree. We hang it on the wall in clear view, so we can read and discuss easily.
What do YOU do to teach your children gratitude?? I want more ideas!! Please leave a comment on this post or do a post on your own blog and let me know. Thanksgiving Traditions? Please share! Email me...
(Email link is on right sidebar.)
Posted by Angela