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Teaching Children to Be Grateful

What I thought had been a nice thing to do, and a good teaching moment, turned into a lot of shrieking about bananas...

Last week, we were leaving the grocery store and waiting at a stop light where a homeless man was standing with a sign asking for food. While we were waiting, I unrolled my window and gave him half of the bunch of bananas that I had just bought at the store. And that's when the tears began in the back seat. My three-year-old apparently has a deep banana attachment and COULD NOT wrap her head around the fact that we had given her bananas to this man.

Clearly loves bananas!

Clearly loves bananas!

What I thought had been a nice thing to do and possibly a good teaching moment turned into a lot of shrieking about bananas. Thank goodness we don't live too far from the store.

She says please and thank you and helps me pack up donation bags and goes with me to drop them off. But even as I try to provide a good example, I think it's difficult for a small child (age three) to realize how lucky they really are and how important it is to be able to give to others.

It's so important to me for my children to one day realize how truly blessed and lucky they are. And with this, I hope that they develop their own sense of gratitude where they will want to give to others.

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She's still young, but after the banana incident, I'm upping my gratification game. This week we're going to bake treats, make a thank you note and take them to the fire station in appreciation for keeping our community safe. And we're going to continue to find little ways to thank and help others on a more regular basis.

Click here for an article from on ways to teach your own children to be grateful. What are some ways in which you've taught your child gratitude?

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