Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that you can practice in your everyday life. Adopting an attitude of gratitude helps us to thrive in this world, and for that, we need to be able to take time out to count our blessings more times than just once a year. Also, to remember to give back to those of us who have been influential for the success in our lives.
Children and adults these days see nothing wrong with just acquiring what they feel is owed to them and simply taking things or others for granted. But why should we be ungrateful or raise ungrateful children? In several studies gratitude is shown to reduce depression, strengthen one’s memory and improve the quality of life. So why haven’t we focused on this sooner or more intently? Better yet why aren’t we raising our kids to be more grateful!
Here are some tips on raising grateful children:
- Teach kids to say “thank you!” Training kids to say thank you at a younger age instills the words into their vocabulary. Even if it initially does not seem to be successful at sticking, keep trying.
- Live it. Show your own gratitude with your children when they help you.
- Teach gratitude through role play. If your child is too shy to say “thank you!” in social settings, allow them to model it with their stuffed animals or toys and play along.
- Daily routines where you can ask your youngster of what they are most thankful for today can create a ritualistic way for children to remember on a daily basis.
- Create concrete examples, where the person’s whose turn it is to speak can mention something they are grateful for.
- Make giving and volunteering a regular habit. Set aside toys and clothes in good condition to be given to charities or underprivileged children.
- Thank those that serve. For example, acknowledging and thanking people that quietly make a difference in your lives. It could be the bus driver that takes the children to school or their teachers.
Be patient and your efforts will instill a lifetime of gratitude with your kids! For more ways on how you can teach children about gratitude read up on Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes by Kristen Welch and Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places (Hearts at Home Books) by Susie Larson.