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Parenting Place

Growing Gratitude

By Anna B.
November 5, 2020

In a culture where it is easy to consume, purchase, and receive, it can be a challenge to instill a sense of gratitude. Balance with that the want to provide joy, excitement, and enrichment for our kids. Here are some ideas of sharing thankfulness as a family.

What do you appreciate? Have family members create a list or drawing of the things that they appreciate. Put on some music, take out fancy pens and markers, and make it fun. Share your lists. What did you include? What do you have that is the same on your list? Different?

Create awareness. Part of gratitude is awareness. Go on a walk and see how many interesting things you can see. It can be everything from a pretty cloud or flower, a friendly neighbor, or a squirrel in a tree. Take the time to be present (grownups too!). How many different things can you notice?

Bring intention to your belongings. Take this as an opportunity to look through your things. Maybe you’ll look through a toy box, junk drawer, or collection of books. Find the parts for things. What can someone else use? What do you want to keep? What do you want to repair? Be intentional about what you choose to keep.

What can you share? Make a list of what you can share. This doesn’t have to just be things, but can include time, experience, understanding, and skills. What can you share as a family? What can you share with each other?

Share a story! Sometimes the best place to start is a conversation and books do a great job of providing the framework for those talks. Use one of these titles to talk about your experiences and how they might be the same or different from others. Books can act as windows or mirrors and both are important.

As a librarian, I say that I am never done learning. My understanding of myself and others constantly expands with my experiences both through reading and relationships with others. Being able to share that sense of wonder with kids is an incredible gift. May we have enough to share.

FOR THE YOUNGEST LISTENERS

FOR PREK AND UP

FOR ELEMENTARY AND UP