Gratitude: The quality of being thankful;readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
When was the last time you told someone you appreciate them or you are grateful for them?
I try and tell someone every single day I appreciate them. Even to complete strangers. In fact, I do it so often that I have noticed that my daughters have started to do it. They like to tell people thank you and they look nice today. My youngest gives everyone hugs; even if they aren’t huggers. I don’t feel like you should be grateful only at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I think you should teach your children to be kind and show appreciation year round. So I came up with a way to get started.
This is so simple I am calling it “Gratitude Boot Camp”.
- Your children will need a notebook and a pen or pencil.
- They will be doing one good deed every week for as long as they would like.
- After each good deed they will write about it in their notebook and give a little pass a long message to the person or persons they served.
I made a printable sheet. Have your child print and cut out as many as they want. When ever they do a good deed they hand one to the person they helped out. Or if they want to do it in secret they can leave it on their door step.
This is a great idea for adults too.
Adults and parents need to remember to set a good example to our children by helping and loving others. It is also nice to show gratitude as a family with fun family activities and service.
Here are some ideas for your weekly service or kind deeds
1. Babysitting for a friend
2. Making cookies for a neighbor
3. Working at a food shelter
4. Ask your parent for a chore list to help them out
5. Shovel the sidewalks in your neighborhood
6. Write a kind letter to a teacher or a friend
7. Give someone a hug (even if they aren’t a hugger)
8. Help a friend who is moving
9. Do a lemonade stand for a sick friend in need to raise money
10. Make your brothers or sisters bed
11. Take your dog on a walk
12. Visit the elderly
13. Have a garage sale and give the money to a good cause
14. Rescue a pet (if your parents agree to it)
15. Visit a sick friend in the hospital
16. Read a book to a younger sibling
17. Cut your hair for locks of love or Pantene
18. Tell someone you love them
19. Help make dinner or lunch
20. Be kind and smile
On the first day of school this year my daughter Vera’s appendix burst and she was rushed in for emergency surgery. It was a horrible week. Vera was in so much pain and I hated to see her so upset. But luckily with the help of my family and friends we got through it. People had a schedule made and my girls were picked up from school everyday and babysat. Vera had so many visitors and love I thought the nurses and staff might kick us out of the hospital. I still get teary just thinking about all the kindness and love we received that week in the hospital.
You never know what a difference you will make in someone’s life.
Have an attitude of gratitude.
When I was growing up my mom would cut out feathers. If she saw us doing a good deed or helping others she would give us a feather and write on it what we did. At the end of November she would do something nice for us. Take us out for dinner, dessert, let us have friends over. One year we were so good she drove us to see our grandmother 3 hours away for the weekend. I love this tradition and have continued it with my own children. We look forward to it every year.
All you need is construction paper or printing paper. You cut out the paper in a feather shape. When you see your child do a good deed or show gratitude you write it on the feather. They can hang them up around their room or make garland out of it.
How do you teach your children about gratitude?
Thank you so much for commenting and taking the time to read my posts on How Does She. I love all your ideas and your kind comments.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.
We all want to raise loving, kind, and grateful children, and we love any ideas that help us help THEM to get there. Here are a few more of our favorite posts on instilling an attitude of gratitude in our children: