Thanksgiving and the holiday season are upon us! For many of our Lake Forrest families, the 2020 holiday season will look different from previous years — and those differences might not always seem positive. Here’s how to help your child maintain gratitude and a thankful heart, even when it gets tough.
Start a daily gratitude list.
One of the best ways to feel more grateful is to notice new things to be thankful for every single day. A daily gratitude list helps your child recognize the moments that matter to them. Encourage them to be specific. Ask them to go beyond saying “I’m thankful for my family” and pinpoint moments like “I am thankful for my sister because she helped me clean my room” or “I am happy when my dad braids my hair.” By doing this as a family, your child also takes note of what makes you thankful.
Make a Gratitude Jar.
This goes beyond a list, and it’s perfect for kids who love crafting or seeing progress. Get a large, clear jar and slips of paper. Whenever something good happens to your kids (or to your family), have them jot it down on paper and drop the slip into the Gratitude Jar. At the end of the year — either Christmas or New Years Eve — open the jar, and drop its contents out. This gives your whole family the chance to remember the bright moments on a difficult year.
Point out “thank you” moments.
It might not seem like much to get a grumbling “thank you” from your child, but encouraging them verbally to express appreciation is an important part of helping them become a grateful adult. Point out the times that your child shows gratitude without you prompting them. Be explicit, saying things like “I liked the way you said ‘thank you’ to your teacher today” or “I appreciated the ‘thank you.’” This positive attention reinforces their practice of gratitude and makes it feel more natural.
Despite the challenges of 2020, there’s a lot to be thankful for. At Lake Forrest Prep, we’re thankful to our students, parents, and teachers who support our Lake Forrest community. At Lake Forrest Prep, a leading private school in Orlando, we want to keep students passionate about learning — in the classroom, online and at home. For more ideas, check out our blog.