Inside: Help your kids focus on why they’re grateful for the people in their lives this November (or anytime of year) with these Gratitude Kindness Notes.
But I want two.
I want more.
She has more.
Why can’t I have more?
My kids often forget to be grateful for the one cookie they have or the small gift received or the brand new shoes they got last month.
And so we spend time reminding them to be grateful for what they have.
Related: How to Help Kids Be More Grateful
We have conversations about people who have less.
And we focus on the key to happiness in life is being thankful for what you have, no matter how little or how much, rather than constantly searching and wishing for the elusive more.
But we also spend a lot of time discussing being grateful for the people in their lives.
And when we tell the people in our lives we’re grateful they’re in our lives, we take a moment to appreciate them, it lifts them up.
It adds value to people’s lives and spreads kindness when we take a moment to tell people we’re grateful for them.
And so we help our kids intentionally do this with these Gratitude Kindness Notes.
Why kindness is so important
Raising our kids to be kind is essential.
In our family, we place so much value on kindness, it’s one of our only two family rules.
When we focus on kindness and intentionally encourage our kids to act and speak with kindness, over time kindness will become their new habit.
Related: How to Raise Kind Kids
But we have to on purpose, teach them how to do.
We model kindness for them with these simple, normal, everyday acts of kindness.
We talk to them about kindness with these 60 Kindness Discussion Starters.
And we challenge them to show kindness to their siblings with this Sibiling Ice Cream Kindness Challenge.
But most people, our kids included, won’t be able to show others kindness if they don’t feel like they they have enough to give away…
But the fastest way to get “enough” of anything is to focus on feeling grateful for what we do have.
Purposefully focusing on being thankful is the fastest way to being ready to being kind to others.
Why gratitude is crucial
All people, but children especially, often forget just how much we have in life.
Whether we have a lot or a little of “stuff” and money, we always have more than someone else.
We may not have the shiny new toy or the fancy new clothes or the big house, but we have plenty.
Even if we don’t remember we have plenty.
And when we come at life with this feeling of always needing or wanting more, it leaves us searching for this elusive fulfillment.
We also feel like we don’t have enough to be happy or enough to give back or enough to share what we have.
But when we focus on being thankful for what we have, we realize we have enough. We live a life of abundance when we know we’re lucky for what we do have.
And when we have an abundance, we feel more at peace.
More true happiness.
And more importantly, when we feel like we have enough, we’re perfectly content to give away what we have to others.
Things, and money and donations, sure.
Because when we focus on gratitude, and remember how grateful we are, we tend to spend more time volunteering and giving back to support our community or causes near and dear to our heart.
But when we remember we have enough, we can also give away kind words, compliments and smiles.
We can give more love and more warmth, and more acceptance.
And we can give more grace to those who may not deserve it, but definitely need it.
Being grateful makes us feel like we’re living a fuller, more content, happier life.
It’s the key to finding the fulfillment and inner happiness so many people search for.
But how can we help our kids be more grateful?
How can we set them up for a lifetime of gratitude?
How to focus on being grateful
Reminding our kids to use their manners when we hand them a cookie is a start.
Please and thank you is a solid start, especially for our younger kids.
Not asking for more or not asking for everything you see or complaining when a sibling gets something you don’t is another step towards gratitude.
We help our kids write meaningful thank you notes for gifts they receive is also a simple way to help kids focus on gratitude.
We use gratitude journals like this one and write down three things we’re grateful for each day.
And since Thanksgiving is a great time to talk about being thankful, we make a gratitude pumpkin throughout the month of November that becomes our Thanksgiving centerpiece.
It’s my favorite Thanksgiving tradition.
But this year, we’re doing something more to share why we’re grateful for the people in our lives.
This year, we’re writing Gratitude Kindness Notes and giving them to the important family and people in our lives.
How to use these Gratitude Kindness Notes for Thanksgiving
These gratitude kindness notes can be used at any time of the year, but were specifically designed to help start the conversation about gratitude in November.
1. Download and print these Gratitude Kindness Notes on cardstock (download them below)
2. Have your kids cut them apart.
3. Encourage your kids to think about why they are grateful to have each person in their life. If they’re stumped, ask them these probing questions:
- What do you love about them?
- What do they do with you that you both enjoy doing?
- Why are they special?
- How do you know they love you?
4. After they brainstorm why they’re grateful for them, have them write down why they are grateful for them. If they’re pre-writers or beginning writers, they can copy what you write or dictate to you what they want written down.
5. Now for the fun part: Encourage your kids to hand out the kindness notes to the people they wrote them for. They can deliver them, mail them, or hide them for someone to find.
Because everyone loves to be told why they’re special.
Everyone appreciates a sincere note of appreciation.
And everyone-especially family members- will cherish a child’s note of love and gratitude.