5 Ways Your Family Can Show Thankfulness
As part of saying, "Thanks, Dad!", we gave you helpful tips for raising thankful children. However, thankfulness isn't simply a nice sentiment to instill in your children - it's something to be acted out every day. If we're intentional and thoughtful, there are many ways we can show our thankfulness as a family daily. Check out our ideas for how you and your family can show thankfulness.
- 1) Do Something Nice: Doing something nice for someone else is a great way to show you are thankful. Be sure to talk with your child and explain that doing something nice for someone shows you are thankful. Consider with your child, way you can do something nice to help someone. Ask your child, "What do you think so-and-so would appreciate you doing for them?" or "What can you do to show so-and-so you're thankful for how they helped you?"
- 2) Write a Note: Make thank-you notes a habit in your house. Help your kids write thank-you notes after birthday parties, for Christmas presents, or for encouragement to your child's teacher or other leaders. Let them express their creative side. For instance, younger kids can draw and color picutes while older kids could write a note in their own words. It's never too early to start teaching the importance of thank-you notes. Don't think you have that kind of time? Try the cell phone apps that are available for download, you can still get your kids involved in the process by having them pick the images and/or messages.
- 3) Say Something Kind: From a young age, encourage your children to say "thank you" when someone compliments them, gives them something, or does something for them. Don't allow your children to bashfully whisper "thanks" with their head down - make sure they look at the person in the eye and specifically thank them for the compliment/item/action. Help them understand that eye contact and a cheerful voice are an important part of genuine thankfulness.
- 4) Help Those in Need: There's no better way to act out a grateful attitude than to do something to help others who can't help you back. Ask your children to pick out food to contribute to a local food drive, spend a day serving at a homeless shelter as a family, or encourage your kids to rake the elderly neighbor's yard.
- 5) Give as a Family: Set up a large jar in a prominent place in your house, let the kids decorate it with stickers or ribbons, and label it "The Thankful Jar." Encourage family members to put extra change or money they earn from extra chores in the jar. When the jar is full, discuss and agree to a charity or organization for which to donate the money. Or, let each family member take turns choosing a different charity to contribute to each month. Explain to your children that part of being thankful is giving to others.
How do you and your family show thankfulness every day?
Visit our "Thanks, Dad!" page for more on how you can connect with your family and other dads just like you!
photo credit: mtsofan