How do you teach a child to be ” thankful?” How do you even explain to a child what ” being thankful ” means ”
I think the main way is to lead by example. An example is to be careful what you ” whine ” or show disappointment about. If you complain too much about doing dishes after a meal the children might think we arent thankful for our food. So, after eating and you are having a conversation with your child about doing the dishes you might say ” I dont mind doing the dishes. There are some people that are hungry and dont have enough food and we have plenty. I am thankful. ”
Another thing we can do is reward them when they say thank you. So when I child says ” thank you ” for you doing something or giving them something you in return say ” It makes me so happy when you say Thank you , It lets me know that you are happy that you got . _____ or that I did ____ for you. It is good to be thankful. ”
If you see , you are helping them assign a meaning to the word thankful. We teach them even as toddlers to say ” thank you ” but it is many times just a reaction and not honest .
You can also in involve them in giving to others. Even when we think we dont have a lot there is someone less fortunate than we are. Let them bake cookies to take to an older person that doesnt have grandkids around or give one of their toys to a child that doesnt have as many. Giving is one of the quickest ways to have a “thankful attitude. ”
Today one of our small groups was writing things the kids said they are thankful for on little leaves that will go on a tree for the Thanksgiving Feast. Dallas did this one on one. If you ask kids things like this in a group setting most three year olds and many four year olds will just repeat what the child next to them said. You end up with 8 people being thankful for Uncle Bobby and mom wondering who Uncle Bobby is !
We were excited to have Ms Ashley come play today. Ashley is student teaching but her school in Fayetteville was out this whole week so she was able to stay and play with Katelyn and her friends today. Thanks Ms Ashley. We have missed you.
We also worked on our Indian Headdresses for the Thanksgiving Feast at the community building Wednesday. Lots and lots of glue. I now do this as a two day project. Many times I have done this project the morning of the feast and watched glue run down my little ones hair or faces and they sang a song up front. You learn as you live. One thing I did notice as the kids decorated are that some kids are born to sort and put things in order ! Look at the matching on the first picture!