This week we continue our Holiday Harmony series with a focus on gratitude. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

We would love for our children to feel and embody the spirit of giving at the holidays. But oftentimes, we are so busy at this time of year that we don’t give our effort and focus to instilling generosity into our dialogue and activities as a family. Ultimately, gratitude is the key to eclipsing entitlement.

Another way parents can alleviate the stress and disconnect that can unwittingly happen in families during the holidays is to shine a light on gratitude.

Here are a few ways to foster gratitude rather than entitlement:
  • Plan not-so-random acts of kindness
    • Consider together how you might help a neighbor, someone in your community, or support a community event.
  • Encourage each member of the family to do something nice every week for another family member
    • Reflect together on the experience afterwards: “How did it feel to help someone today?” Notice together how it impacted the other person or helped them. You might ask, “Was it a different kind of nice feeling from playing a video game or scrolling through instagram?”
  • Share gratitude together regularly
    • Create a habit of giving appreciations to each other – whether over dinner, before bed, or during a weekly family meeting.

It’s the season of giving, and giving your attention to these simple actions for expressing generosity and gratitude can give that added sparkle to your holidays. At the same time, you give your children the satisfying experience of giving appreciation for others.

Stay tuned for more ideas to create Holiday Harmony! (Read Part 3 here)