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Encouraging Gratitude During the Holidays

Happy Friday everyone!

We are still sticking with our holiday-themed nanny tips! This week’s Nanny Tip of the Week has to do with encouraging thankfulness and gratitude with your children this holiday season. As blessed as many children are these days, I think it is important to remember what it means to be thankful for what we have and to share that love and thankfulness to those around us (especially those that might be less fortunate).  So, here are some tips about how to discuss gratitude, create an atmosphere for it to thrive and how it can directly impact the children you nanny during such a busy holiday season:

1. Find a way to change perspective – Although most holidays this time of year are commonly known for gift giving, making lists for what you want, being busy shopping and attending holiday parties, find little ways to teach your kids to express thankfulness amidst the craziness. Whether this includes having your kids write post it notes about what they are thankful for to display in their rooms or even leaving post it notes/emails for members of their family to bring joy to them that day, be intentional about explaining that the holidays are not just about getting presents, but about being grateful for your loved ones and the way they have impacted you throughout the year. This will not only lift the overall spirit around your kids, but will teach them ways to spread love without having to spend money.

2. Help inspire kids to make new traditions – Most families have already decided what types of traditions they want to uphold in their families, so be sure to respect what traditions they may have already gotten started. Nevertheless, find creative avenues for starting up new traditions as you have now (likely) become part of the family! A few ideas could include making a DIY holiday project each year to be displayed in the home, creating a scrapbook/collage of pictures of activities the kids have done that holiday season, making a Gingerbread house together or even going outside and making goofy looking snowmen. Be creative! By doing this, you are not only creating a lasting memory, but also helping to keep up an annual tradition between you and the kids.

3. Teach the importance of giving back – With all of the hustle and bustle of giving and receiving gifts, it is certainly the natural inclination of little ones to identify “what’s mine” and “what’s yours” during the holidays. A great way to remedy this is by starting to teach children how to give back at a young age. Over time, the importance of this will sink in and the reminder to be thankful for what you have only becomes more apparent. Some suggestions for giving back might include making some homemade holiday treats to take to a local nursing home, filling out a shoebox with gifts through Operation Christmas Child, making a meal to serve at a local homeless shelter or helping your child to donate money to a charity they want to support. Whichever route you choose, make it not only a fun activity, but an opportunity to share and spread gratitude to those in need.

I have links below for a few great articles from blogs and other websites with more ideas on how to discuss this topic for further reference so be sure to check them out!

Hopefully these suggestions get your mind working and reminded on what things are important this holiday season so that way you can teach these values to your kiddos early on! We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how you like to encourage thankfulness and gratitude on a regular basis (and especially during the holidays!). What has worked for you and what other ideas do you suggest?

That’s all for now and all of us at Chicago Collegiate Nannies hope you are having a wonderful and blessed holiday season!

Happy Holidays,

Samantha Carney

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrea-reiser/11-tips-for-instilling-true-gratitude-in-your-kids_b_4708019.html

http://www.imom.com/the-secret-to-teaching-gratitude-during-the-holidays/#.VnRwyvkrLIU

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/this-holiday-season-give-your-kids-the-gift-of-gratitude/2012/12/18/1c2e5fec-3a41-11e2-a263-f0ebffed2f15_story.html

Photo Credit: Howard Cheng (https://flic.kr/p/acq7N

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