My cousin Jill is officially the most creative parent I’ve ever met. Several years ago, before I even had kids, I was in awe of her brilliant ways to teach kids gratitude.
The Best Way to Teach Kids Gratitude
In today’s world, it’s not all that easy. You have all these materialistic things flashing in front of your face on social media, television, and everywhere you go – someone always has the latest gadget.
Our kids see this. They see us with our iPhone stapled to our hand, and they are modeling our behavior.
Just yesterday I was walking into the grocery store and two school-aged boys walked right into my shopping cart and fell on the floor. They were both walking with their heads down, staring at their Gameboys. And all you have to do is Google people with iPhones walking into things.
You’ll have a good laugh.
We live in a very materialistic world without gratitude journals. We live in a world where technology at times seems to take priority over people. Instilling gratitude is now more important than ever!
How to Teach Kids Gratitude
The most creative and inspiring idea from my cousin Jill was her one simple tip to raise grateful children.
It all starts with hard work, generosity and kindness. Each month, Jill and the kids would have a Do Good Day.
First the kids had to do chores to earn money to give away! That was the first tip that blew my mind. The boys would vacuum, sweep, and take out the garbage and more to earn money to serve others. (That’s right, their allowance was used to serve others, not to self-serve). After they earned their money, they would spend the remainder of the day serving their community.
One day, I asked her what they were doing for their monthly Do Good Day.
She smiled back with a happiness inside of her that every parent desires. She paused for a moment and replied:
We are bringing toys to the hospital, dog treats to the humane society, homemade cookies to the local drug and alcohol rehabilitation spot and, best of all, the boys have to do chores to make money and then we are giving it away! I decided to do this after our oldest lost his bouncy ball and didn’t want to spend any of the EIGHTY dollars in his piggy bank to buy a new one. He wanted me to use MY money. Time to start earning and sharing!
The Best Part?
Her kids got so used to serving others and sharing, they started asking for charity donations in lieu of birthday gifts! How amazing is that? They were so thankful for what they already had, they wanted to give it all back. Her kids felt great and it boosted their self-esteem.
All it took was one day per month to teach gratitude. On top of that, several friends were inspired to do the same with their kids.
How to Plan Your Own Do Good Day
- Choose one day per month.
- Have your kids do chores to earn money beforehand or the actual day.
- Have your kids use their money to buy ingredients to make goods for others or use the money to donate to others in need.
- Talk about the experience. What happened, how did you all feel afterward, and how can you serve others better next time? How can you persevere and push forward?
We live in a materialistic world, where we walk into people right in front of us because we are too consumed with the latest update on our iPhone. Sometimes we have to remember to swipe to left, power down, and look to our community members in need and offer to help. We need to learn to savor the moment with each other.
We can all make a difference with just one Do Good Day a month!