5 Tips to Growing Gratitude in Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Do your kids say thank you? Do they mean it? With Thanksgiving coming up around the corner, we are reminded of how important it is to be thankful but even more so, to show it!
Over the next few days, we'll be sharing little tips on growing and encouraging gratitude in the different stages of childhood and teen years. We are a family owned and run business and we care about family values. We think that these tips will warm your heart as much as they're warming ours.
Growing Gratitude in Young Children.
It's important to remember that young children are still developing the concept of being thankful. It doesn't come naturally. So any little gesture is a step in the right direction, verbal or non-verbal. Practicing good manners in instances when a “thank you” is appropriate will nurture their budding sense of gratitude. While saying “thank you” may be an automatic response at a young age, as they get older they’ll begin to attach true meaning to the words.
When your young kids receive gifts, they should be expected to create and send a thank-you picture or short note within one day of the kindness. To practice immediate thanks, teach the non-verbal kids how to sign 'thank you'. You simply place your hand at your mouth and then extend it forward.
Use pretend. Have a tea party with manners or have the stuffies practice saying thank you when appropriate.
At meal times or bed times, everyone take a moment to talk about something nice that happened to them or about a person that was kind. At the end, say, "I'm thankful for ____" and insert the person or situation.
Sing what you're thankful about or find a poem about gratitude and say it often. Children memorize well this way.
Make a kind list
Write down the people in your child's life that they love and appreciate. Then have him or her help you think of nice things that could be done or made for them as a way to say thank you. Make or do something once each week and let your child give the gift and experience that joy.
Spreading gratitude is actually quite simple when we commit to it sincerely and out of love. Children are quick to model after our behavior so it's up to us to set the standard. At Ontario Bakery, we believe that giving is a beautiful way to show our love and thankfulness. So, of course, if you'd like to include custom baked sweets to your list of giving, we'd love to share in the process. Contact us today with any questions!