Young children by nature are very self-centered, as they do not have the cognitive skills to grasp a world larger than their own. Children can be taught to be polite and say “please” and “thank you”, but that does not mean that they understand what being grateful and thankful means. As children are raised to be grateful, they develop empathy skills and are able to be sympathetic towards the feelings of others. On the other side, children who do not have these values instilled in them, end up with a sense of entitlement and are not appreciative of the things that others do for them. Raising your child to be grateful is an ongoing process, and it begins with it being continually modeled for them. A great time to start modeling this for your child would be during the holiday season. Some things to do as the holiday season begins are:
Keeping in the Thanksgiving spirit, here are some other fun, educational activities you can do with your child:
Stuff The Turkey- Have your child decorate a brown paper bag like a turkey, using crayons, markers or various other art supplies. Then crumple up newspaper together into balls to use to stuff your turkey. Count how many pieces of newspaper it took to stuff the turkey!
Turkey Baster Transfer- Give your child containers of water and have them use a turkey baster to practice transferring water. You can also use colored water, so your child can experiment with making different colors.
Personalized Placemats- Have your child decorate placemats for each person who will be joining your meal. Talk to your child about what makes each person special and important. Have your child either write it on the placemat or dictate it to you to write on the placemat, so all of your dinner guests feel welcome and special.