The holiday season is here, which means it is essential to think about what you are grateful for. Many feel thankful for physical health, family, occupation, home, so many things – especially your children – but, is your child grateful? According to ChildMind.org, teaching your children to appreciate things can improve their relationships, empathy and even overall happiness. Who doesn’t want their child to be happy? Let’s teach gratitude!
Not only do you want your child to experience the benefits of being grateful, but as a parent, you want your children to appreciate everything they have in life by not taking things for granted. Here are simple tips for raising children who are grateful.
Be an example.
Your children will learn from watching you, as their parents. Showing them what it means to be grateful by thanking someone, holding the door or helping a friend get up from the ground are great examples. Be sure to include your kids, too.
Talk about it.
Talking about feelings with children to help them understand their emotions will have a significant impact. When someone says, “Thank you,” ask your child, “How did that make you feel?” This gives children an example of what feelings are associated with doing nice things versus when not; and overall, makes a connection to how their behavior might affect others.
Set realistic expectations.
Getting your child involved in fundraisers at school, hosting a bake sale or taking part in anything for a good cause is a beautiful way to boost your child’s confidence and understanding of gratefulness, and allows a chance to give back at the same time.
Teach them “thank you.”
This is often unrelated to gratitude and more of a social custom, but saying “thank you” can still be heartfelt and meaningful. Your child will better understand the phrase when watching and hearing you tell it to those doing a good deed or helping.
Share the love.
There are tons of ways to show gratitude to others! For example, if your child loves to color, draw a nice picture for Grandma to show how much you care about and appreciate her. Then, giving your child a high five, thumbs up, hug or telling them “great job” will help solidify that connection.
Understanding your child’s way of being grateful and giving a reward will help solidify their appreciation.
Giving your child the gift of gratefulness can be one of the most rewarding and important things they receive this holiday season. Your child’s gratitude will come with many positive outcomes when displayed. We hope this article helps your children, and we encourage you to share this article with others!