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Three ways to teach kids gratitude over the holidays

The holidays are a season of abundance for many of us; how do we teach our children to be grateful for all that is showered upon them? Teach the joy of giving (not just receiving), focus on helping those less fortunate, and appreciating each gift as it is received.

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The Joy of Giving

Instead of buying a gift for a child to give their grandparent, teacher or coach, help them make something instead. Yummy baking, homemade ornaments, or even a handmade card will give your child a greater sense of being involved in giving, not just receiving.

>> Teaching and practicing gratitude with your kids over the holidays

Help Those With Less

It is often easy to write a cheque to a favourite charity, and the funds are always needed, but consider doing something more tangible with your child.

  • Gift the special people in their lives with Christmas cards that support the education of girls in Africa through One Girl Can.

  • Take your kids shopping to buy new toys to donate to a toy drive such as the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau  or the Salvation Army Toy Mountain at Guildford Town Centre Surrey.
  • Practice random acts of kindness with the kids: Have the kids help shovel your neighbours walk, rake up those wet leaves, hold the door open for someone, do a chore for someone without them knowing, make cards or cookies for the neighbours or buy a hot chocolate for the person behind you in line.

Teach Gift-Receiving Etiquette

It is very easy for kids to get caught up in the consumer-fueled frenzy of frantically unwrapping without pausing for breath. Prior to holiday events, be sure to talk about proper thank you’s, the importance of appreciating each gift, and how to handle being given something they may not like. And of course, be sure to model those behaviours for them.

Updated by Harriet Fancott in 2017

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