Thanksgiving will be here before you know it! With that said, it is time to think about what you and your family are grateful for. Many feel thankful for their health, family, job, home, travel, and several other things, but do they know what their child is grateful for? According to ChildMind.org, teaching children early on about being appreciative can improve their relationships, empathy, and overall happiness.
Not only do you want your child to experience all the benefits of being grateful, but as parents, you want your children to appreciate everything, not take even the little things in life for granted. Here are helpful tips for raising a grateful child and how to reinforce gratitude.
Be the Role Model. Children learn a lot from just simply watching you. Show them what it means to be grateful by thanking someone for holding the door or helping someone off the ground who fell. Be sure to include your kids, too, in these simple acts.
Just Talk. Talking to your kids about feelings will help them understand emotions and how they have a considerable impact. When someone says, “Thank you,” ask them, “How did that make you feel? Did it make you smile?” It provides an example of what feelings are associated with doing nice things versus when they do not, then connects how their behavior might affect others.
Pay It Forward. Having your child help with fundraisers or take part in anything for a good cause is a beautiful way to raise your child’s confidence and understanding of gratefulness while giving them a chance to give back at the same time.
Practice “Thank You”. Saying “thank you” is seen as more of a social custom, but saying it can be heartfelt and meaningful. Your child will be watching and hearing you say the phrase to those doing a good deed, thus learning about the phrase. It can help your child get a better understanding of the importance of words.
Show Love. There are many fun ways to show gratitude to the community! For example, if your child loves to color or draw pictures, have them create one for a family member or neighbor. Then, reward them with a high five, a hug, a thumbs up, or simply telling them “good job”, solidifying that feel-good connection.
Give Your Child Praise. Understanding your child’s way of being grateful and rewarding them will help them know that their appreciation is meaningful and should be their way of life.
Giving your child the gift of gratitude during the holiday season can be a gratifying experience and is a meaningful gift to give. Gratitude has tons of positive outcomes when children display thankfulness. We hope this article helps you and your family!