Tis’ the season for stress! But keeping gratitude on the top of the list really helps. Here are three ways to keep the good stuff flowing, in spite of your never-ending holiday to-do list.
1. Books on Video
Did you know YouTube has book videos? It’s true! And my kids can’t get enough. Here’s a great list of books you can “check out” right now featuring wonderful lessons in gratitude. (Don’t forget to set your computer security settings before allowing unsupervised YouTube access.)
- The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
- Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland
- Have You Filled A Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud
- Thanksgiving Blessings by Mike Berenstain
- The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks by Jan and Mike Berenstain
- Grateful: A Song of Giving Thanks by John Bucchino
2. Random Acts of Kindness
Initiating Random Acts of Kindness is a great way to teach gratitude to your children, and is especially timely around the holidays. Ask your kids to come up with 5 acts of kindness. Then work one idea into your day each week. Keep it simple and make a plan to keep it manageable, rewarding and fun. Here are some simple ideas:
- Make cookies for your mail carrier
- Tape quarters to toy machines around town
- Create artwork and mail it to out-of-town family members
- Donate old toys to families in need
- Have kids do chores to earn money and purchase gifts for kids in need
- Bring hot cocoa to the Salvation Army employees collecting donations outside
3. Gratitude – Write On!
Bring a notepad to dinner and ask family members to share what they are grateful/thankful for. Make a list as you go around the table. Hang the list on your refrigerator for a nice reminder all month long!
What are some of the ways you help your kids show gratitude?
–Maria Dismondy, mother of two (and expecting a third soon), reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan