It is important to raise children who have a grateful heart and parents are in the best place when it comes to teaching children gratitude. In the ongoing A to Z parenting tips, we are discussing how parents can use 5 steps to teach their children how to have an attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude is at the root of the lives of people who are happy and fulfilled. Usually, when we interact with grateful adults it feels good to be around them, they are the one who see life as a bed of opportunities and are grateful for the things that they do have or have done. On the other hand, when you are with ungrateful people you cannot wait to leave their company!
Children are well served when they learn gratitude from a young age. Children who grow up grateful have better self-confidence, are happier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with themselves and end up less materialistic. While these are all good by-products of gratefulness the question can be how do you teach your children to be grateful?
Teaching Children Gratitude
It is a proven fact that children learn from what we do and not from what we say. So model gratitude to them and be vocal with it. Do they see you expressing gratitude for the things in your life? What about how you treat the people around you, do you simply order people around with a sense of entitlement? They are watching and learning.
Spend Time with Children
Spending time with your children is one of the best ways to teach them your values. When they learn how to cherish and nourish relationships from home, which is their first school, this will radiate through their lives. The basis of gratitude stems from healthy relationships.
Identify Gifts and Strengths
When you identify your child’s gifts and strengths you can encourage them to use these towards a greater good. When children are taught to enhance what can be seen as a God-given talent for the greater good, they instinctively learn gratitude. Not everyone can sing so why not sing at a shelter or use your gift to raise money for the less privileged.
Focus on non-materialistic needs
Children who grow up around people or in a society that places value on material goods; tend to grow up and attach excessive value to goods. Having nice things and buying things is not a bad thing; however, insatiable hunger for more and more material goods leads to dependency on what they have versus who they are.
As children learn to be grateful for what they have, they are more satisfied with life.
When a child learns the importance of manners to say thank you, please; you are teaching them to pause and to think about what they just received. Every time a child says thank you they are processing that something good just happened and are showing their gratitude for that. When they say please, they realise that they are asking for something and so should be intentional and polite about it. Children with a sense of entitlement many times are the opposite of grateful.
Gratitude is an attitude, it is not about what you have, but how you feel about yourself and being thankful for what you do have.
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Join the #GratitudeIsAnAttitude ride and raise children and families that have gratitude.