It’s important to give and show thanks every day but the holidays serve as a great reminder. 

Children learn from adults. When you take the time to say “thank you”—whether it’s to your family, friends or people you interact with out of the home—you are giving your little one an example to learn from. Making this a daily practice will help make saying “thank you” a habit. 

As your child grows, you can help them develop their understanding of gratitude through reflection practices. 

  • Notice: What was the thought that went into the action or gift?
  • Think: Help children understand why they have been given the gift.
  • Feel: Let children express themselves when they receive their gift and ask how it makes them feel. This helps them process their emotions.
  • Do: This is where children can reflect on how they want to show gratitude. Is it saying “thank you,” making a card or giving a hug? Whatever it is, encourage them to express their gratitude in ways that feel good and genuine to them.

For more information about teaching and expressing gratitude, check out this video from the Greater Good Science Center.