Gratitude doesn’t come naturally, but unfortunately, attitude does. Turn your child’s attitude into gratitude. Teach your kids to be grateful. Below are some effective ways to teach children to be thankful and count their blessings.
The best way to teach a philosophy of life, such as gratitude, is by showing it by example and not by lecture. Children learn best by imitating their parents and what better way could there be than to lead by example! A simple way to start would be to say “thank you” and “please” to your spouse, child, helpers at home as often as possible.
Encourage Children to Help Out
Encourage your child to help out with household work, such as watering the plants, helping in the kitchen, and by this, you are generating an environment for them to learn gratitude. By physically doing things, your child realizes that it takes effort and they should not take things for granted. If you do more for your child without letting them know the effort it takes, there are more chances your child will take you for granted.
Give Concrete Examples
Give real-life examples of incidences that promote generosity so that children get to learn from those real-life instances. One example of how to teach kids appreciation could be sharing good news, such as – “We got a new refrigerator today! How lucky we we’re to get our old ones replaced!”
Encourage Donating to the Needy
Taking stock of unused items such as toys, books, clothes, etc and donating to that in need is a great example of encouraging generosity in children. Take your child to visit those in less privileged conditions and this will give them a real-life need to become gracious.
Most children keep an eye on the latest things in the market and keep demanding from their parents for the same. They may ask for video games, toys or chocolates. Being a parent, you tend to fulfill all the desires of your child to put an end to their tantrums, or simply out of the love that you have for your child. This attitude will deliberately destroy the growth of thankfulness in your child. Parents must realize that saying ‘no’ a few times will make the ‘yes’ sound more pleasant. This will help you to raise your child with an attitude of gratitude.
Insist on ‘Thank You’ Notes
Children love to express emotion in the form of drawings and little letters. Encourage your child to make a ‘thank you’ note whenever there is an instance that needs to be thanked for. For example, he could write to someone who gifted a lovely toy on his birthday.
Encourage Reading Books That Promote Gratitude
Books such as ‘The Thank You Book’, ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’, ‘Thank you body, Thank you Heart’ have strong moral foundations and provide excellent reading material. These stories give a message of thanksgiving, appreciation, and generosity.
Birthdays – Celebrate Responsibly!
Birthdays are usually one of those days in which the child tends to go for an all-out, I-need-everything mode. While celebrating her birthday would be a joyous thing to do, make her also understand how lucky she is to have people who love her and celebrate her, and shower their blessings upon her. Teach her to send thank you notes to the guests who came to the birthday party and gave her gifts too.
As it has been proven that raising children with an attitude of gratitude can create lifelong happiness for your children, it is important to begin these practices right from an early age.