The busy holiday season has arrived! With both Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, it’s easy for families to get wiped out with family visiting, meal planning, decorating, and many other time consuming tasks and errands. With this time of year being extremely busy, it is common that we forget to pause in the middle of the holiday madness and appreciate the reason why we celebrate this time of year.

This holiday season serves as a wonderful teaching opportunity for your kids. So as parents, now is the time to slow down and teach your little ones how to be thankful for and show gratitude. Gratitude is a great habit that can be practiced, and parents can start building a foundation of gratitude as early as the toddler years. However, no matter how old your kids are, it’s never too late to learn about gratitude. Check out a few ways to get your kiddos practicing gratitude.

1.Volunteer as a family

Community centers and shelters are always in need of more volunteers during the holiday season. Volunteering teaches a lot of values, like social responsibility. It also helps kids develop empathy for others and a belief that they can make a positive impact. If you have the time, take your family to volunteer some evening or weekend. Here are some common places families can volunteer at:

  • Shelters
  • Community centers
  • Food banks
  • Visiting the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes
  • Rake the neighbor’s leaves

2. Give back

This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to go with your children in search of items that can be donated to others. Giving to others provides the chance to talk with your children about the needs of others, while nurturing their compassion and sense of giving back to the community. There are many ways you can give back, whether it is having your kids choose canned items for a canned food drive, or taking personal items, like gently used clothes and toys to local shelter. Help your kids go through their toys and closets, encouraging them to donate toys they don’t play with and clothes that no longer fit. Be sure to remind them about the difference they are making!

3. Be a strong role model

As a parent, you probably notice that your kids repeat some of the things you do. Take advantage of this by showing your kids that you are grateful each and every day. You can start by modeling basic manners, kindness and respect towards others. Make it an effort to make simple statements about what you are grateful for — a warm and delicious meal, being healthy, and of course, a wonderful family. In time, your children will notice and follow your gratitude.

4. Make gratitude a routine

While teaching gratitude during the holiday season is important, it is something that should be practiced year round. Consider choosing a recurring family routine or tradition that will serve as a good reminder to reflect on what your children are grateful for. Whether it’s something like serving at a shelter every once and awhile, or something simpler like discussing gratitude at a family meal or before bedtime. Whichever routine or tradition you choose, the more you stay committed to it, the more you will notice your children catching on. With time, the more expressing and feeling of gratitude will become a part of your family.

At A World of Discoveries, we hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. We understand that the holidays can be a busy time. And when you’re looking for daycares in Columbia, MO there is no better choice than A World of Discoveries. For enrollment information, contact us!