Teach your kids gratitude in 5 easy ways


We're almost there! Yep Christmas is only 7 days away, you can practically smell the roast beef. 

Christmas trees are up, wrapping paper is soon to be sold out, and you're certain that the endless stream of Christmas anthems blaring in malls are putting you in some kind of shop-till-you-drop trance.

The kids are more one-tracked than usual, their demands validated by the gift giving season. 

It's easy to get swept up in the all the materialism of the festives. 

And with an extra-long to-do list, who has the time to stop and consider what the kids are inadvertently learning? Beyond the presents and mountains of food, we all forget what Christmas is really about. 

“Teaching your kids to say thank you and be grateful for what they have is important, especially over this time,” says Riverside College’s primary school vice principal, Madelein Luttig. 

“Kids can get wrapped up in the gift-giving-and-receiving frenzy and forget that Christmas is actually a time for appreciation, reflection and giving back.”  

Reinforcing these values is probably the best gift you could give them. 

You don’t have to go all Tony Robbins on them! Here are 5 simple ways to make sure your kids remember to embrace gratitude this Christmas: 

1. Take the lead 

Make a conscious effort to be verbal about the things you’re thankful for throughout the day. Think about the knock-on effect this will have on your little ones. 

2. Volunteer your time to a worthy cause 

Volunteering time and giving back to your community is not only a great exercise for you, it also exposes your kids to the reality of the less fortunate. To find a worthy cause, visit www.forgood.co.za

3. Increase their chores 

With so much free time on their hands, get them to help you around the home, preparing meals, cleaning their rooms, the garage and other neglected spaces. Nothing like a little hard work to inspire gratitude. 

4. Encourage them to write thank you notes

Thank you notes are a great way to put words to action. Set special time aside to sit the kids down and have them write their own thank you notes for every gift they receive and fun encounter out. 

5. Make it a family affair

At supper time, give each person at the table a chance to express thankfulness for something they were grateful for that day. 


What are you grateful for this year? How do you teach your kids to be grateful? Tell us below or email to chatback@parent.com and we could publish your letter. 

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