Teaching My Toddler How to Be Grateful - Back to School Edition
Thank you Stage Stores for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Something Kai said the other day really sat funny with me. We were on the couch, watching her favorite TV show together, about veterinarians saving animals. A Great Dane came on and she looked over to us and said “mom can we order one?”. Like it would come delivered from the mailman tomorrow. We talked about how much work pets are and then she asked if it’s because it’s too expensive and if we can order a cat instead, TODAY. It cracked me up but at the same time, something about the way she almost expected the instant gratification made me think long and hard about how to bring more appreciation and gratitude into her life. Today, I am challenging you to explore gratefulness in your kids with me! Here are a few things we are going to do!
Before we dig in, I want to share something close to my heart! It’s actually really timely because around this same time, I found out that one of our favorite stores Stage is partnering with the No Kid Hungry Organization to raise money and awareness for childhood hunger. I had no idea that about 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price school lunches and over half of public school students come from low-income families. I think it’s a great idea to start talking about giving back with Kai at this age and teaching her to do for other while making her aware to appreciate the everyday blessings she has.
So, as we are shopping for back to school with Kai at Stage Stores, I am also making a difference in those kiddos lives! I found all the cutest backpacks (like this cat print), outfits for Kai, myself and Kevin and even beautiful home decor all at Stage Stores. While I was at it, I picked up this really cute lunch bag along with a water bottle from the No Kid Hungry collaboration where 50% of the retail SALE (Not profit, SALES), gets donated to the No Kid Hungry Organization. You can snag some seriously adorable swag in bright colors and catchy phrases like “I’m so egg-stra” haha! My other favorite print is the Avocado Lunch Tote that says Guac-On! So cute! Another way to make a difference it posting your summer /back to school moments on Instagram and adding #FuelKidsFutures from now until 8/31. Stage will donate $1.00 to No Kids Hungry for every picture posted! (Up to $25,000). I LOVE making a difference a spreading joy at the same time!
Here are a few things we are incorporating into Kai’s every day routine to encourage a life of gratefulness.
Lead by example. I love starting the day with 5 positive affirmation and 5 things I am grateful for. Saying this around the breakfast table sets my mood for the day and makes me think about all the things we have to be thankful for. It puts the small things into perspective (like the ever running list you have in the back of your mind). You’d be surprised how much your toddler wants to join in to count their blessings. Of course, many things on Kai’s thankfulness lists were similar to mine but she totally got the idea. She counts all her family members who she’s thankful for and makes sure to give Olie and Atlas extra loving in the morning too.
Chores and inclusion. Kai has dedicated chores around the house because we want her to see that it takes a lot of work to run a household. Things just don’t magically get cleaned up, toys don’t just magically get put away when she’s sleeping. She feeds the animals and gets them fresh water. She is so proud when she works so hard to take care of them. I always make sure to thank her for her hard work. We also talk about the chores mommy and daddy do and how we all have a part in the house.
Do things for others! This part takes a lot of discussion before and during. We love to make treats for our friends in the neighborhood or bake cookies for nana. The more challenging part to explain is doing things for others who don’t have the everyday amenities she’s used to. This takes a lot of patient explaining and expect many WHY questions. It can be hard for her to understand why some kids go hungry BUT she does understand the concept of doing nice things for other people and it makes her feel good.
I hope this helps jumpstart gratefulness within your own family. You can find all the outfits in this post at your local Stage Stores or online in the links below! Don’t forget to include the hashtag #FuelKidsFutures in your next Instagram post and do some good at the same time!