While the summer and fall are meant to be times of thankfulness and appreciation, often times you may find yourself in a household full of complaining and crying. And while children will often squabble and bicker throughout their early years, it is important to teach them how to show thanks and be grateful for all of the wonderful things in life.
So before you let them get carried away in their crying, come together as a family to learn about appreciation. Now you can make a gratitude jar as a family and show thanks for the wonderful world around.
Put it in the Jar
To make a gratitude jar, all you need is a mason jar and a few ideas on a piece of paper. The mason jar can be any shape, size, or color – just ensure that it stays somewhere that everyone can see, and in a place that is accessible to all of the members of your family.
Now it is time to set a rule with your children: each day, every other day, or even every week, you are all required to write down on a piece of paper one thing for which you a grateful. Once you do this, you must all put the piece of paper in the jar together. Make sure that you all read aloud your submissions together so that you know what each of you truly cares about in the world.
Go Over it Together
Once the jar begins to overflow, take out the pieces of paper and spread them across a table or floor. You can each try to find the scraps that you put in yourself, or simply grab and handful and start going through them together. Read over the words carefully, and talk about the things for which your children are grateful.
This can be a great way to help remind your kids of all of the wonderful things in the world. Simply seeing the things that they appreciated in the past will jog their memory and remind them to show their gratitude for what is around them at all times.
Make a Schedule – Keep a Schedule
Often times it is easy to make a schedule for a family activity, only to find yourself forgetting about it when things get busy or when time gets scarce. While this is a natural and expected part of parenthood, it is no way to teach your children how to be grateful.
Set a schedule for the gratitude jar with you and your children. Make sure that there is a specific day or time that you will be completing this together, and don’t let yourself bypass it for other family activities. And if your children complain, don’t allow that to pass either – the whole
point of this family activity is to remind them how wonderful the world is, and that complaining is no way to fix a problem.
A Jar of Thanks
It is important to teach your children how to be grateful early on so they can share it throughout their lives. Come together as a family and create a gratitude jar so you can share with each other all of the wonderful things around you.