When the month of November begins, the word THANKFUL gets thrown around quite a bit. This can be a difficult concept to explain to a child with a language delay. Often using complex language and long explanations can add to the confusion. Here are some SLP suggestions for teaching about gratitude using simple language to help your child grasp the concept.
The visual above provides the most basic information. This is all you need if your child is minimally verbal or speaking using 1-2 word utterances. If you feel they can handle some more complex information, introduce some new vocabulary. You can say:
- In November, we hear words like thankful, or grateful. They mean the same thing. These words all describe a feeling of gratitude. What is gratitude? It is when you feel happy about all the wonderful people and things in your life.
-What are some reasons that people feel thankful? People are grateful for family and friends who they love. There are also places in the world where there are no safe homes or food to eat. So we feel thankful for having a place to live and food to eat. We can also be thankful for being healthy.
- Kids can feel thankful for some of their favorite items, like toys and treats too!
(By interchanging the words thankful and grateful you are teaching that these words have the same meaning!)
If you want to bring this topic up continually, introducing a Thankful Tree is a great way to have a brief daily conversation about gratitude.
!To start, simply get foam or brown construction paper and cut out a tree trunk and branches. Purchase or print out some fall leaves. Each day, every family member selects one leaf. They write one thing they are thankful for and place it on the tree. If your kiddo needs help with this, you can give them some suggestions so they do not become frustrated trying to think of ideas. You can give simple reminders such as "We are thankful for people and things we love." Share pictures of your thankful trees with us as they progress on Instagram! You can find us @louknowswhattodo