Does it feel like all your toddler thinks about is “me me me?” While it’s common at this age for your kiddo to think about themselves, there are ways to go ahead and begin teaching your toddler how to practice gratitude.
Play the gratitude game
Sometimes (okay, most of the time) toddlers are in their own little worlds and are unable to see on their own just how blessed they are. A game that prompts your child to think of all the things they’re thankful for can help get their gratitude juices flowing. Gather fall leaves together as you take turns listing things you’re grateful for. Then help them paint the things on each leaf. You can hang the leaves on a string above your mantle or you can put them up on your refrigerator so that they can be reminded regularly of what they’re grateful for.
Toddlers like to copy what adults say and do. So perhaps one of the easiest ways to teach your child gratitude is to model it for them. Whenever you take your receipt from a cashier, whenever a relative gives you a gift, whenever your child helps you with a chore, say thank you. Saying “thank you” in front of and to your child will help them learn to say it for themselves.
Bring your child along
Another way to teach your child gratitude is to have them help you show gratitude to others. Have them help you bake and deliver cookies to a teacher. Or shop for and create a “thank you” goodie basket together for your front door, filled with water bottles, snacks, and hand warmers to thank delivery personnel during the holidays. The more opportunities you give your child to exercise their “gratitude muscle,” the more naturally it will come to them.