7 Tips to Teach Your Kids Gratitude
This is a guest post by my new friend Ivy about children and gratitude. I hope you’ll read it and give her some encouraging comments.
Teaching your children to say “thank you” is imperative. However, instilling in them a sense of gratitude is a different matter altogether. Gratitude is more of a lifestyle and a mindset. It is something that extends beyond good manners. This means that it needs to be practiced, in order to grow. Here are some tips that can be used to teach kids gratitude and stay with it through their childhood.
Be a Grateful Parent
It is an invaluable practice to tell your kids how grateful you are to have them. Let them know that you appreciate their hugs, their smiles and so much more. Once you make them feel appreciated, their self-esteem is boosted. Additionally, your sense of gratitude sets the perfect example that gratitude extends beyond material stuff.
Establish a Thankfulness Routine
This can be done weekly, daily, or even at night, just before you go to bed. Simply sit down with your kids, and let them list down the things they feel grateful that day or that entire week. Just know why they want feel grateful for that particular aspect or event.
If you really want your kids to learn and understand gratitude, stop comparing them with others. You might feel that they don’t appreciate the kind of work or effort that you put in, in order to give them a good life. Doing that will only make them feel guilty, instead of being grateful and that is where you destroy the foundations.
Let Them Help Out
Allowing your kids to help around the house makes them realize how much effort it takes to run the household. Give them appropriate chores like feeding a pet, setting the dinner table or cleaning the house. Once they accomplish these tasks, they will be able to feel a sense of accomplishment and feel valuable to the family.
Don’t Shower Them with Too Many Presents
Every parent wants to give their kids the best things. However, this does not imply that you only give them bare essentials. Buying them everything they ask for only dilutes the impulse of gratitude. It means that they don’t learn how to value their possessions. Once they have so many toys, they will not appreciate anything they have, since they will always be waiting for something new or something better.
Encourage your Children to Give Back
Most kids are self-centered, which means that they really value receiving. Depending on their ages, identify appropriate tasks, where they can help an elderly or sick person. Once they dedicate their energy and time to help others, they will stop taking for granted the things they already have like home, health or family.
Insist on Respect and Politeness All Round
Once you teach your kids how to treat others with respect and dignity, chances are very high that they will appreciate the ways in which those people contribute towards improving their lives. In light of this, they will give kindness and assistance the value it deserves.
Identify Teachable Moments
Find the right moments, to teach your kids the aspect of gratitude. Once they connect the aspect of gratitude to a real-life situation, there is a high likelihood that the lesson will stick. It is one of the most powerful means of instilling gratitude to your kids.
Gratitude is a lifetime process, which needs to be regularly cultivated. Kids are naturally self-serving and materialistic. The good news is that they are young enough to learn the aspects of gratitude, and grow with those principles.
Ivy Norton is a mother of 3 and founder of MommasBaby. She’s a passionate mommy blogger and focuses on providing parenting news, tips and advice.