As December winds down, we’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude and thought we’d share a few thoughts we’ve been tossing around amongst ourselves. While this year has been marked by ups and downs, we believe that regardless it is important to face each day with the intention of feeling appreciation for all things big and small. If we think about it, gratitude is part of the social fabric that helps us form meaningful relationships and allows us to be satisfied and happy with our lives. It helps us get through challenging times and makes good times even better. While we celebrate a feeling of thankfulness at Thanksgiving, at Modern Kids Design, we feel the emotion truly transcends the whole holiday season and hope it lingers throughout the year. We want to feel gratitude ourselves and we also want to foster and encourage it in our kids. Other parents we have talked to recently shared the same sentiment. Therefore, in addition to focusing on the joy of giving, we also want to share some tips for helping children cultivate and express their gratitude this holiday season and beyond.
Lead by Example
One of the best ways to model gratitude for children of any age is to lead by example. Your children are always watching. Let them see you be grateful for the things in your life and for the things people do for you. A simple “thank you” can convey so much. Sharing your gratitude with your children by letting them know how much you appreciate their help around the house and allowing them to see you thank everyone from the postal carrier to the bus driver shows children how a little bit of gratitude goes a long way towards brightening someone’s day.
Encourage Helping Others
The causes that matter to you may not be the ones your children want to support. And that’s OK! You’re raising some amazing individuals with minds of their own. Encourage them to identify the ideas or causes they’d like to support and to help out in a way that uses their skillset.
During the holiday season, there are multiple ways to express our gratitude for what we have by giving back to the community. Donating toys, volunteering, or dropping off cookies at your local fire station can help children better understand the role of gratitude and giving back in our lives.
Children are intuitive and kind by nature. Nurture their thoughtfulness by recognizing and applauding it. Letting a child know that you saw and admired their thoughtful behavior reinforces that behavior and helps them understand themselves as a thoughtful, caring person. Research has shown that complimenting character traits like thoughtfulness allows children to better incorporate the traits as part of who they are.
If you’ve ever kept a gratitude journal, you know how helpful it can be in shaping daily reflection and keeping a positive mindset. Older children may appreciate the idea of taking a few moments before bedtime to write down what they were thankful for during the day. Journaling can help us process our day and our thoughts, making it easier to appreciate what we have and to calm our minds for a restful night’s sleep.
Needless to say, we are so grateful to have you as part of the Modern Kids Design growing community. We hope you have a loving holiday season full of light and laughter. Happy Holidays!
With Love & Gratitude,
The Modern Kids Design Team