Helping to develop a grateful attitude in your child may be as easy as asking the right questions. Licensed marital and family therapist Randy Crownover of Edmond says that we often get so busy that we forget to take stock of all we do have and simple questions can help us to re-focus.
How to Increase Appreciation This Thanksgiving
To help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude, explore the following questions and activities as a family:
- What can you do this year that you couldn’t do last year? From riding a bike to acing a trigonometry test, have your kids make a list of new skills and abilities they have mastered in the past year.
- How have they grown this past year? What opportunities have allowed them to gain these skills?
- Who helped you to achieve your goals? Based off their accomplishment list, make a list of people who have helped you achieve those milestones and write them a note, draw them a picture or thank them in person for spending their time and expertise with you.
- Who makes you smile? Spend time reflecting on the people who bring happiness to your life. Think of everyone from friends and family to the helpful lady at the post office or your favorite teacher. Pay the smile forward by letting them know how they brighten your child’s life and have made a positive impact on your family.
- If you were to make a collage to represent your life, what would you include? Talk through the items or photos you would include—or, even better, build an actual collage as a family. Discuss why each item is included and what it says about your values and priorities.
- Are there any things you would like to add or subtract in the coming year? If you build a collage, display it as part of your holiday decorations
- What do you value most about each family member? Have each family member express in writing what they most appreciate about the other members of your family. Make it a fun surprise by writing your thoughts on disposable placemats that you debut at your Thanksgiving meal.
“With these activities, think outside the box and get creative,” Randy adds. “Kids are such concrete thinkers that activities like these can help move them towards more abstract ideas like gratitude and give them a sense of true appreciation of what they have.” And that is certainly something worth being thankful for.