Teaching My Kids to Be Thankful

Don’t ask me why, but a rare burst of motivation had me cleaning out the cabinet under my kitchen sink. While there were no light bulbs under there, I did come up with a decent idea.

With the holidays around the corner, I had been trying to think of a way to teach my two young children what it means to be grateful. It’s a difficult thing to explain to three-and six-year-olds, so I was hoping to find a way to show them instead. But, they are just too young for many of the traditional volunteer activities that come to mind.

Back to my cabinet clean out. Under the sink were several glass flower vases for which I had no use. Then I remembered last year my neighbor  called to collect my unwanted vases for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. They were taking flowers to a nearby nursing home.

Ding ding ding! A-ha! That’s what I can do with my children. So, my kids called a few friends and family members to ask for vases. Then we went to the grocery store where a sweet lady in the floral department agreed to donate some flowers to our endeavor. (Thank you, Mary!)

When we got home, the kids made a royal mess had a ball assembling flower arrangements. (Basically, they relish any opportunity to use scissors).

And then it was go time.

My family and I loaded up the flowers, and drove our fragrant vehicle to a local nursing home, where I sought guidance from two caregivers. With only 34 bouquets to give, we asked to be directed to the tenants who received the fewest visitors. (I also asked them not to include anyone on the list who might make my little ones feel uneasy).

My children made cheerful flower deliveries and proudly presented their drawings to elderly people who were not mobile enough to make it to the Bingo game taking place in the activity center.They were delighted to receive flowers from the kids. And we were delighted to meet some incredible people.

In the end you always receive more than you give. We definitely did.

And I am thankful.

I’m thankful for the support we received as we put this together. I’m thankful my kids are experiencing what it feels like to give to others.  And I am thankful that if you look, you can find a life lesson anywhere – even under the kitchen sink.

What are some of the ways you are teaching your kids to be grateful?

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5 Responses to Teaching My Kids to Be Thankful

  1. Elizabeth November 24, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    This is awesome!!! What a great idea and an even better lesson for your kids! Good job!

  2. Angue November 24, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    What a great idea!!! I’m certain your kids loved the experience – but, especially using the scissors!!

  3. Jennifer November 24, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    This is wonderful. Good for you for teaching your kids how to give. Good stuff!

  4. Mom November 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    You are such a good person and a good mommy. I know everyone that received the flowers and got a chance to meet you and your terrific children were so happy!

    • Heather November 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks Mom. Had a good teacher.!

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