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As with all of you, I take my responsibility to raise compassionate and socially aware children very seriously and there is no better time to work on these important characteristics than during the holiday season. Here are a few hints we’ve found to raise our kids with an attitude of gratitude.
1. Read – There are tons of great books out there that help children understand the complex issues of compassion and selflessness. One of our absolute favorite reads is Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. My kids love all the fun characters and rhymes while I love the important moral of the story.
2. Follow Their Passion – Allow your kids to decide how they want to give back. My oldest son is really into animals so we found a local animal shelter that desperately needed dog beds and helped him raise funds until he could donate a few. He was so passionate about his project because it was something he deeply loved.
3. Volunteer – Giving back to your community through volunteering as a family is a great way to show gratitude together. Whether it’s cleaning up a yard for Habitat For Humanity or serving at a Food Kitchen, kids will always benefit from learning how to give back.
4. Be aware – Depending on the age of your children, being up to date on current events can foster important conversations and opinions. I want my children to understand that they are members of a global society and that their ideas can and will shape the world.
5. Be a Role Model – The best way I’ve found to help my children live with an attitude of gratitude is to be a positive role model. The more I express gratefulness for the many blessings I have in my life, the more my children understand the importance of such an attitude. They are constantly observing and absorbing how we interact with the world around us and I want those lessons to be ones of love and compassion.