The story of Mother Theresa is a great one for teaching thankfulness. Many children in the western world, thankfully, grow up without knowing how it feels to be poor. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to empathize with those who are poor and needy. Start off by reading the story of Mother Teresa win your child or students and note the things Mother Teresa encounters during her work in India. People living in the street, people who didn’t know how to read, and sick people who were turned away from hospitals, among many other things.
Ask your child or students what they are thankful for. Having a home is something to be thankful for. If it’s a cold day, they are protected from the cold, wind, and snow by their house. If it’s a hot day, their house gives them shade from the hot sun. A family who loves you and, in a child’s case, takes care of you, is also something to be thankful for. Friends are something to be thankful for. Good friends to talk to or play with can make a bad day good, and they help you have fun. Having good food to eat, and not having to go hungry is another thing many of us can be thankful for.
Help your child be thankful and realize what they have by pointing out to them things in your daily life. For example, on a rainy day, you could say, “I’m very thankful we have a dry home to go to!” Or before dinner, “I’m very thankful we have so much good food to eat!” Or even, “I’m thankful we can go to the doctor/dentist to keep you healthy!”
With all the talk about being thankful, it’s even better to show your thankfulness through action. Volunteering to help out others is an excellent way to help your child be thankful for what they have and have them show their thankfulness by helping others. Seeing others in a worse situation than them, such as when helping out the homeless in soup kitchens or bringing care packages to sick children in the hospital, can help children become more thankful and aware of the good things in their own lives. Check out this blog post for more ideas on where to volunteer with your children. If you are a teacher, one of the volunteering ideas may be a good trip idea for you and your students.