This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Raising a Grateful Child

Our city has a great newsletter that comes out each season and usually features great articles. Since most of you don't have the opportunity to read them, I thought I'd share with you the most helpful tips and parts of each article from the Winter Issue . The first article was entitled "How To Raise a Grateful Child" and was written by Kristen Carter from YMCA/Early Discoveries in the Winter 2010-2011 GrowSmart Newsletter.

"It is more than just good manners for children to express thanks and show appreciation when they are grateful. Studies indicate that the happiest children are those who feel and appreciation for life regardless of their financial or personal situation. They are also more joyful, determined, optimistic, resilient, healthier, and even less stressed!" (I know that's true for me, too!)

So here are some tips from Kristen about how to improve the "attitude of gratitude:"
  • Make a list of things you are grateful for, with each family member participating.

  • Blessings/Grace- helps foster an atmosphere of thankfulness.

  • Thank you notes- This is true for gifts, but also helping them with writing thank you letters to others that have been meaningful, helpful, or encouraging.

  • Set limits- Avoid overindulging w/ material items to learn to appreciate what they have. "A little sacrifice causes us to miss things that we take for granted and helps us to be humble and grateful."

  • Offer service- Volunteer together! Some examples: homeless shelter, nursing home, SPCA, shopping for a food pantry,etc. This helps build an appreciation for their blessings.

  • Set an example- Thank people!! This includes your kids, sales people, the mailman, etc. Look for people doing good deeds and point it out to your children.

Some recommended books for stories about gratitude and having a grateful heart from the article:

The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman. "One day the very greedy bee finds a meadow full of flowers and decides to keep all of the pollen for himself. He ends up so full that he cannot fly. It's getting dark and he doesn't know how to get home unless he flies. With the help of some friends, the greedy bee is able to return home safely, learning that it is better to share."
Little Bear's Big Sweater by David Bedford "This is a story reminding us to be grateful for our siblings. Little Bear is excited to get his brother's hand-me-down sweater but upsets Big Bear when he falls and gets it dirty. Big Bear refuses to play with Little Bear, but a solo seesaw experience makes him realize how lonely he is without his brother."
Thank You Bear by Greg Foley. "Bear has found a present for his friend Mouse, but by the time Bear shows it to him, he is not convinced of its value. Everyone Bear has met along the way has devalued his gift, causing him to question if Mouse will like it. Unlike everyone else, Mouse is thankful for his friend's thoughtfulness and agrees that the gift is the greatest thing ever."


Elizabeth Bennett said...

Thanks so much for including our book, The Very Greedy Bee in your blog about books about gratitude and having a grateful heart. We have posted a link to your blog on our facebook page. Are you a fan yet? http://www.facebook.com/pages/tiger-tales/183496001305
Happy Reading,
Elizabeth Bennett
tiger tales

Leigh Anne said...

Great ideas! My kids can never have too much of this teaching so this gives me some great ideas :)


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