As we pack Halloween away, and transition to Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s time to welcome a season of giving and gratitude. We have so much in our home that we are packing up to give away to people who need those things more than we do. And we plan on purchasing items to donate locally. Although Jayden isn’t aware of how good he actually has it, were are trying to gradually introduce him to helping others.
Last year, when we donated to Toys for Tots, he didn’t quite get that but this year, he will be able to understand a little more. He refers to all children as his “friends” so if we explain to him that “friends” are hungry and need “presents”, he will understand. And as the years go by, he’ll develop strong compassion for helping others. Him being the only child with an estate like 5 times larger than what I had growing up, makes me very conscious. I want to see that he doesn’t take anything for granted.
I see his gratitude in the little things. It’s one thing to speak using manners such as, “Thank you”, but he has a way of expressing himself. When we painted his room, he ran his hands over the walls and said they were beautiful. He was so excited! My mother got him a new comforter and he ran his hands over it and said, “Ooo this is nice!” Whenever we give him something to eat whether it’s a slice of bread or a cup of water, he expresses his gratitude with a “Thank you, Mommy! Thank you, Daddy!” “I love bread! Mmm this is delicious!” Whether it’s a new pair of undies or a coloring book, he appreciates them so much! As he grows into a man, I hope he continues to express his gratitude and share his gifts with those who need them.
How do you teach your children to be grateful and express gratitude?
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