1. During a meal, have each person share what his/her high points and low points were that day. See if your child noticed other kids being especially nice or not nice that day.
2. Thank each other for small things during dinner. If your dinners are anything like mine, I’m forgetting ketchup for the fries or my daughter needs a refill of milk. So it’s a gold mine for saying thank you. In Japanese culture, we say a quick thanks before we eat and somehow my daughter has picked up on that. So she often starts the dinner with “thank you, papa for this delicious dinner” ahhh warms my heart <3
3. Don’t make Christmas and birthdays too much about gifts. Put more emphasis on experiences and tradition such as pancake breakfast, a “yes day”, special outing to the zoo, meal with friends, decorating the house with balloons and streamers. The more toys children have, the less they appreciate each of those things.
4. Take the time to discuss the things we have in our lives that others may not have. Some kids have special toys that your family may not have. Your family may have things that others can’t afford.
5. Have your kids donate toys, give meals and supplies to the homeless. Starting at a young age, clear out some toys to give away. This is especially useful in December before Santa comes. You can also utilize local Buy Nothing groups or even have a garage sale.
6. Last but not least, model the behavior that you want to see in your child. As parents we must declutter our own closets, say thank you to others for their kindness, and express appreciation for what we have instead of constantly buying new things. If we can’t show them how to live a grateful life, how can we expect them to do it on their own too?