Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Children’s Hospital New Orleans.
Simple Ways for Children to Foster Gratitude this Holiday Season
This magical time of year is filled with twinkling lights, festive decorations and the joyful laughter of children. But amidst the excitement of gift-giving and celebrations, there’s a valuable lesson that often gets overshadowed—teaching children about gratitude. Expressing gratitude seems easy enough but instilling this concept in young children can be challenging, especially during the holiday season!
Research has shown that practicing gratitude can lead to increased happiness, improved relationships, and better physical health. As we experience this holiday season, it’s essential to recognize the power of simple acts in building connections with our children. Amidst the flurry of preparations, there are opportunities to deepen our bond with them, creating lasting memories and nurturing their sense of gratitude.
The act of cooking together is more than just preparing a meal. Give your kids a part of the meal to help prepare or if they are old enough, let them prepare a dish for the meal. Use this time to talk about topics that are important to them. If you have a teen preparing the vegetables, ask them about what they are looking forward to eating and why. For little ones, simply talking about what they are doing is a great way to build connections.
When the meal you’ve prepared together is ready, savor it as a family. These moments of togetherness, whether through games, new creations, or simply relaxing, are the essence of the holiday spirit.
Wrapping presents together might seem like a chaotic endeavor, but it can be really fun when you let things happen organically. Helping your child wrap gifts to give to others can help build selflessness, which is a great gift to give to your child. It may not be the prettiest wrapped gift, but it is all about the journey to the finished product that matters.
If your child receives a gift, teach them how to write a thank you note. Go past a simple “thank you for the book” message and encourage them to express how the gift impacts them. The thank you note might read “Thank you for the book. It will help grow my library at home.”
Incorporate gratitude into your everyday routine, even after the holiday season has passed. Telling our family members thank you for the simple acts they perform every day and acknowledging things that you are grateful for on a daily basis sets the tone for children to mimic our behavior.
Remember, amidst the chaos lies opportunities to nurture connections and create cherished memories. Embrace these moments, for they gift our children not just with joy-filled holidays but with enduring bonds and a deep-rooted sense of gratitude that will accompany them throughout their lives.
Here’s to building unforgettable connections and fostering gratitude this holiday season!
About the author:
Prior to joining the Parenting Center Team, X. Patrice Wright, M.Ed., began her career in education as a kindergarten teacher. She then became a math coach, a Louisiana State Department employee, a school administrator, and also worked in central office. Throughout her 22 years in education, she thoroughly enjoyed providing professional development and coaching to teachers. Her passion for working within the early childhood sector never faded, and she firmly believes that giving children a solid foundation in their early years sets their path for academic success. She received an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from UNO. She is a Louisiana Pathways Trainer and a toddler CLASS observer. A mother of one daughter, Patrice teaches school readiness classes, classes for parents of teens, and shares in staffing the Metairie Center.