Kids volunteering at a food bank

7 Tips for Teaching Kids Gratitude this Holiday Season

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Lisa Bunting
Published Date: Monday, December 04, 2017

By Dr. Lisa Bunting, Chesapeake Pediatrics

Set a good example

You are your child’s first role model. If you practice generous behavior and speech regularly, your child will want to act the same way. The more you give, the more he will understand the importance of giving. Demonstrating generosity in front of your child is good for both of you.

Teach manners

“Thank you” is an easy phrase to take for granted, but it is important when teaching generosity and gratitude. Talk to your child about why saying “thank you” is important and what it means when someone says it to you. Be sure to always thank your child when they give you something or do something for you.

Talk about sharing

Children have difficulty sharing, especially young children. This is a normal part of the development process. Knowing and accepting this is the first step in helping your child grow up to be a generous person. Encouraging without forcing your child to share through positive conversations is one of the best ways to teach this important value.

Incorporate teamwork

Encourage children to collaborate and put together a holiday show or write a poem or story about thankfulness. Have them perform the show or read the poem during holiday dessert. Creating interaction and fun activities based on thankfulness will help reinforce generosity.

Have kids help in holiday prep or cleanup

By participating in simple household chores like feeding the dog or stacking dirty dishes on the counter, kids realize that all these actions take effort. By becoming a part of the holiday chores, they will be less likely to take these actions for granted and have more empathy for those that are putting forth effort.

Encourage generosity through goodwill

The holidays are a perfect time to donate to the less fortunate. By having your child actively participate in a goodwill project that gives back to the community, she can start to understand what it means to be gracious and giving.

Be patient

Gratitude can often take months or years to develop in a child. It’s important for parents to be patient when selfishness occurs, and focus on positive reinforcement. Talking about the idea of gratitude and demonstrating gracious behavior often will help your little one grow into a kind and caring person.

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About CHKD Medical Group

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.