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Give back during the holidays



Ways to teach kids to be thankful, grateful and humble

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Whether you're snowed in or plowing your way around town, we've got you covered in this great 4 weeks of holiday fun series. We are highlighting local events, businesses with holiday spirit and some great giveaways for our readers.

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Give back during the holidays and teach kids to be thankful
There's no better time than the holiday season to teach your children with it means to be thankful, how to show appreciation and to give back to others. It can be a difficult concept for younger children but not impossible. Teaching children to be thankful promotes sensitivity to feelings of others and is important to help raise children who won't grow up feeling entitled. In the long run, grateful people tend be be overall happier and have a more optimistic outlook on life. Lori and Michael Bredemeier, founders of Little Toader, share some tips on how to teach children to be thankful below.

Thankful tree craft1. Create a thankful tree
A thankful tree is a creative way for you and your children to share what you're grateful for. Everyone can write down what they are thankful for on different colored construction paper leaves that you use to decorate your tree. Keep the tree in your living room and you can add to it each day and remember what you're thankful for every time you pass by it.
Source: www.pbs.org

2. Count your blessings
When your children are having difficulty falling asleep, teach them to count their blessings instead of counting sheep. Have them recount in their head everything that they are thankful for (even the little things!) and soon enough they'll be drifting off to dreamland.

3. Lead by example
Children learn by following their parents' example so teach them to be thankful by remembering to always say thank you. Make a point of saying "please" and "thank you" when you interact with others and when you talk to your children. Thank them for their hugs, when they clean up their room, and when they help clear the table.

4. Have them donate old toys/clothes
When your children outgrow their clothes and toys, ask them to donate to less fortunate children. Explain to them why these children need their old toys and clothes and they will learn to appreciate what they have and to give to those in need.

Read the full article, Raising Thankful Kids: 10 ways to teach children how to be thankful.


Local ideas for giving back:

  • Soup kitchens or shelters like The Lunch Box in Poughkeepsie provides hot midday and evening meals six days a week to thousands of Dutchess County residents. You can fill out an online volunteer form, here or call 845-454-3792 for more info, to donate food or personal items or sponsor an event.Operation Christmas Cheer
  • Operation Christmas Cheer started by an Ulster County mom, and HVParent blogger, is an easy way to give back with the kids.
  • Donate your time or talents (maybe you enjoy crafts) to local senior homes
  • Help deliver meals for meals on wheels
  • Donate your old winter gear or host your own coat drive
  • And check out these ideas from The Whatever Mom, Charity Starts at home- 7 ways to give back with little ones in tow.

 

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Pamela is the calendar, social media editor and places to go guru at Hudson Valley Parent. She was raised in the Hudson Valley and currently resides in Dutchess County with her husband and two boys. She enjoys beach days, crafting, photography and can rattle off a list of things to do or places to visit at any given moment.


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