Showing gratitude is an abstract concept for kids. That’s why I’ve created the 30 Day Challenge to teach your child about gratitude. This challenge will help you to teach your children about gratitude with ease and enjoyment. Together, you will practice showing acts of gratitude and discussing what it means.
We are responsible for helping kids make those connections and they need to practice this skill in order to learn it well. Join me in the 30 Days Challenge to teach your child about gratitude.
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Why is it important to teach your children about gratitude?
Being thankful isn’t something that comes naturally to kids. It must be practiced and learned over time. Once kids (and adults, too) begin to turn this mindset into a regular habit, you will find that they will become more empathetic and compassionate.
Showing compassion towards others also helps to build positive relationships, especially within your family. Overall, children will grow up to be happier and healthier adults.
To make gratitude and compassion a regular discussion in your home, I would highly recommend that you read regularly with your kids. Learn more about the scientific benefits of reading, which will help your child to become a better person by reading the article Can Reading Make You a Better Person?
At what age do kids understand gratitude?
According to SanfordHealth.org, children “will begin to learn concepts of gratitude starting at 18 months of age. By age two, your child will begin saying “thank you” to others. Your child will not be able to express appreciation but is aware adults will do things to make him or her happy.” This website also has a great breakdown of how kids express their gratitude at different ages.
When I am talking about this topic with my two year old son, we first discuss what he loves and then I help him rephrase his sentence into describing that he’s thankful: “I am thankful for my sister.” As he gets older, I’ll probably ask him to tell me WHY he’s grateful for the people and things that he shares. This will deepen our discussion.
How do you teach kids gratitude in an entitled world?
This skill doesn’t come naturally and it’s not easy to teach. But with time and repetition it becomes a regular, easy practice. In fact, it becomes a joy to show your gratitude to others.
For kids, being grateful means identifying the person or situation that helped make them feel happy. It means thinking outside of yourself, which isn’t easy to do. Children first need to recognize the feeling that they are experiencing, and then they need to consider what made them feel that way.
When we look around us, many people have not grown out of the toddler mindset that everything is “mine, mine, mine…” In confess, I find myself falling into this habit every now and again. Showing gratitude means being intentional and taking the time to think about others. Here are some things you can do to express your gratitude to others:
- Keep a journal and list the things that you are thankful for. Add a little bit each day.
- Make a gratitude jar. Write down things that you are grateful for on a piece of paper, fold it up, and drop it in the jar. These are fun to reread and discuss from time to time.
- Make cookies for a teacher or your mail carrier.
- Do a chore around the house without being asked.
- Tell someone in your family why you love them. Give a specific reason.
Sign Up to Join the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge for Kids
To receive more practice tips and ideas to teach your child to practice gratitude, sign up for the challenge. I will email you 30 prompts, one step each day, that you can complete with your kids. Read the email before you pick your child up from school and complete the task on the way home.