Happy Thanksgiving: An Interfaith Guide to Gratitude

With Thanksgiving on the way in the United States, it's a wonderful chance to talk about gratitude with children. 

Generosity and gratitude are important values to model and teach.  There are lots of ways to create small habits of gratitude at any time of year.

- Prayer:

praying before a meal, bedtime or first thing in the morning, is a chance to pause and appreciate the things and  people in our life. Whether it's a religious prayer to a higher being, or a simple moment of silence, creating a space where we stop to consciously think about the things we are grateful for is a habit that can benefit a child of any age.

- Acts of service:

Being grateful for what we have directly affects our ability to empathize and be generous with others. Service is also a wonderful chance to experience how other people live. Helping others will almost always make us feel grateful for what we have ourselves. It's a beautiful circle of giving!

- Words of Love:

It's a simple thing, but something we often forget: tell the people in your life how much you care about them. When children are young, positive reinforcement is extremely important for self-esteem, belonging, and shaping behavior and how they see the world. The best way to encourage our children to be people who give words of encouragement and love is to model that behavior ourselves. 

Printable Interfaith Sheet!

For an interfaith look at some of the ways different faiths and traditions talk about gratitude, check out this Gratitude sheet I made featuring quotes and prayers from different faiths! Click on the picture to get a printable pdf version. 

One leaf is left empty for you to write in your own quote, prayer, or gratitude list!

Try the coloring sheet version!

Happy Thanksgiving!