I always have grand ideas for November. What about you? You know, things like getting Christmas planned, reminding my children to be thankful with our Gratitude Jar, and maybe even decorating our home a little.
Sometimes, I get some of it done and a lot of the time, I don’t. I hope what they say about good intentions isn’t true. I hope, in this case, it really is the thought that counts.
There are some traditions that I really try to make sure don’t get overlooked in the chaos that leads up to the holidays. One of those is our Thankful Tree and I try to have a toy purge before we’re invaded by gifts from relatives and that jolly old Santa Claus.
But, most of all, I try to find ways to encourage gratitude and get my kids to think about others. While we try to do those things all year long, it seems to be a little easier and more natural when November comes around.
ENCOURAGE GRATITUDE IN YOUR KIDS BY MAKING IT A GAME
I want to help my kids focus on what we have, not what they want. With Christmas coming, the inevitable “I want, I want” is about to get stuck in high gear.
I want to encourage them to do things for others; but, when you’re little, it can be hard to think about others before yourself. I want to offer my kids the opportunity to learn to put others ahead of themselves. But, it always works out better when they think it’s their idea or that it’s a game. So, a few years ago, I introduced them to The Gratitude Jar.
A big part of gratitude, to me, is being willing to help others. And to say thank you when others help you. That’s what The Gratitude Jar is all about.
HOW TO ENCOURAGE GRATITUDE WITH THE GRATITUDE JAR
The best part about The Gratitude Jar is that you can use it however it best fits into your home.
We have used it as a boredom jar in the past. This year, though, we are making it into a game.
When my kids have a free minute, they choose a slip from the jar and do the activity. What has made this successful so far is that The Gratitude Jar is constructive, it’s a privilege. And it’s individual. Sometimes, they do the same activities at the same time. But, if one of them doesn’t want to do the activity that was drawn, or has already done it, they can choose their a different one.
We’re keeping track of how many good deeds each of them do. At the end of the month, they can choose a reward based on how many activities they complete. There’s 10 activities included that will encourage gratitude and serving others. My kids helped come up with rewards.
- When they complete 1-3 activities, they get to choose a special treat or candy.
- When 4-6 activities get completed, they can stay up an extra 30 minutes.
- If they do 7-9 activities, they can get out of one chore.
- If all 10 activities get done, we’ll have a family movie night and they get to choose the movie and the snacks.
The competition is against themselves, not each other. They are trying to do their best, not better than their brothers.
READY TO ENCOURAGE GRATITUDE IN YOUR OWN FAMILY?
If you’re ready to encourage gratitude in your family this holiday season, download your own high-resolution copy so you can create your own Gratitude Jar.
All you need is
- a printer
- a pair of scissors or a paper cutter
- and a clean container to store the slips in
A dozen snips to more grateful children…? Can’t hurt to try, right?
Get your gratitude growing!