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Each year as we celebrate the holiday, we are reminded of what we are thankful to have received.  Being thankful though shouldn’t be a one-day deal.  Instead, we should be thankful every day.  As the holiday draws closer, most of us find it to be a good time talk to our children about being thankful.  Again, we shouldn’t wait for Thanksgiving, but instead teach our children to be thoughtful and grateful each day.  If they learn gratitude at an early age, they will have a greater appreciation for the simple gifts in life.

 How do you teach children to be thankful?  Start by being a good role model.  Children learn by watching, mimicking what we say and do.  If we can be thankful for the simple stuff, so will they.  Remember to say “please” and “thank you” to those who help you as you go about your day.  Saying “thank you” to your children helps them understand gratitude.  Make a big deal when you reward them for their special actions and achievements. They work hard to reach their goals and make you proud of them.

Teach your children to be grateful for what they have by being grateful for what you have.  There is more to life than material objects, and less can be more.  We don’t need to give our children everything they request.  Instead, help them learn to appreciate what they have.  Grateful children look outside their world; they understand and appreciate that their parents and other people do things for them.  Encouraging grateful feelings now will benefit your children later in life.

Finally, teach thankfulness by doing for others and encouraging your children to do the same.  Remember to praise your children when they are thankful, reward them with gratitude, and do your best to be what you want them to be.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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