• For Children (and Adults) of All Ages • 

Thankful: adjective  thank·ful : glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc. : of, relating to, or expressing thanks

Does it seem that children today don’t know the meaning of being thankful? We live in a consumer based, technology driven world and sometimes life flashes by so quick. We are in such a hurry that we often don’t have to stop and be polite and thankful for the world around us.

Here are some tips on how to help your child show thankfulness and maybe a refresher for adults too!

1. Just say thank you: Practice using role-play using good manners and saying “thank you” using stuffed animals and action figures.

2. Start a tradition: Not just for Thanksgiving Day but every week. At dinner time ask everyone to share at least one thing they are grateful for.

3. Be an example to younger children. You may not know it but they are watching you. Adults and older children can set a good example. 

4. Hug Someone! Tell them that you are thankful for them being in your life. 

5. Say thank-you with cookies. Prepare and deliver a homemade “thank you” to your local fire or police department, or your pediatrician’s or dentist’s office.

6. Help out without being asked. Make it a goal to do so once a day — and for any member of the family.

7. Thank a teacher or coach. Send a handwritten note to let him know how much his efforts make a difference.

8. Volunteer a Saturday. Think food pantry or animal shelter, and try to make it a regular commitment.

9. Perform a random act of kindness

Kindness is still very much appreciated in the world today so perform a random kindness for those you love or a total stranger without looking for praise such as buying a homeless person lunch.

10. Pay it forward in the drive-thru lane. Use your own money to pay for someone else’s meal or coffee.

11. Create a Thanksgiving scrapbook. Ask everyone to jot down their thoughts or contribute a photo on Thanksgiving day. Be sure to update it and add to it each year. 

11. Encourage generosity. Together donate toys and clothes to the less fortunate.

12. Thank your children when they do something kind or good. Show thankfulness to the ones closest to you (spouse, friends, relatives) so they know gratitude isn’t just for strangers. 

13. Give out compliments. Make someone’s day by giving out compliments on little things like a great shirt, a nice smile, or on a job well done.

14. Journal your blessings. Take a few moments each night before bed to write down the things you appreciated throughout the day. It can be a wonderful way to reflect on how far you’ve come over the years.

15. Visit the sick and/or elderly. Spend time with those who may not have anyone else. A Saturday morning visit to the nursing home or the sick ward at the local hospital can brighten everyone’s day. Think about how you might appreciate that when you’re elderly yourself.

What are you thankful for today?