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Moms Talk: How Do You Teach Gratitude?

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving feast, we want to know how you teach your children to count their blessings.

Thanksgiving is a time to stop, reflect, and count one’s many blessings. Friends, family, laughter, chocolate—quite a lot to be grateful for in life.

Yet for young children, especially the very young set who operate under the “all about me” philosophy, gratitude can be a challenging lesson to teach. Most know to offer thanks for a present but how do you teach thankfulness for things such as good health and love when they don’t come wrapped in shiny Disney paper?

We at Patch want to know: how do you teach your children about gratitude? Is it a yearlong lesson or one brought out especially for the holidays? 

Jan Abney November 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM
At each meal, we hold hands and go around the table with each person thanking God for something. Thank you, Lord, for bringing us together tonight... for the gorgeous sunset.... for a fun day at the beach... for the fun games we got to play today... for having so-and-so join us for dinner... etc... Then we all say, "Amen!"
zp November 13, 2011 at 03:26 AM
For Veteran's Day, our sons went to the Veteran's Hospital and handed out sweets and money they had earned and handmade cards expressing their thanks. They passed them out one-by-one to the men in wheel chairs and shook their hands, looked them in the eye and told them they were thankful for the sacrifices the men had made for their country. It was hard - one of them had fresh bandages from losing a leg, but our 11 year old son was strong and felt his feelings of gratitude and sorrow and in the end felt thankful for all that he had, for his own two legs and for his country.
Bob Perkins DDS November 13, 2011 at 06:12 AM
I love to bring up Anne Frank a lot. She found beauty and joy when others could not.....she was grateful for the little she had...
Catherine Myman-Kaplan November 14, 2011 at 04:28 AM
Hi Jan! How lovely that you take the time each day to reflect! Is this a tradition you grew up with? Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)Cath
Catherine Myman-Kaplan November 14, 2011 at 04:30 AM
What a powerful memory you created for your children zp! How did you get the idea to honor our veterans in such a way? Is this your first year doing it? What are some other ways you you inspire such reflection in your children? Thanks for such a great comment, :)Cath
Catherine Myman-Kaplan November 14, 2011 at 04:31 AM
How very true Bob! Anne Frank's life and her written diary are so inspiring. Thank you for bringing her up! :)Cath
Jan Abney November 16, 2011 at 04:24 AM
Catherine, it's not a tradition I grew up, but one I've encouraged. We've had kids over, whom have never spoken with God.They don't have a personal relationship with their Lordand don't now how to talk with Him. We are showing them how easy it is. Just speak with the Lord as though he's your best friend. In a comforable setting, it's easy to aaccept Jesus as a comfortable friend, and speak what's on your heart.
Catherine Myman-Kaplan November 17, 2011 at 01:31 AM
Thank you Jan! I'm sure your children will grow up with such lovely memories of close family dinners! Thank you the comments! :)Catherine

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