Teaching Your Child Gratitude: 3 Easy Tips for Raising More Grateful Kids by Dr. Lachlan Soper [inactive]
In this day and age, many have come accustomed to getting what they want when they want it – especially children. Almost every parent today has dealt with their children throwing a tantrum over limited screen time or not having their own high-tech devices to themselves. To say the least, it’s easy for a child to fall down the rabbit hole of not being grateful for what they have.
Some parents may find it difficult to teach their children how to be thankful or grateful, but it isn’t a challenge that can’t be overcome. Here are some simple tips for teaching your children to be more grateful:
1. Start Contributing As a Family
If you as a parent are doing all the household chores such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and everything else that keeps the home moving smoothly and efficiently, chances are are you’ve set a certain type of expectation. When the work is always done for them, your children will start to always expect that and not have an appreciation of all the hard work that you do (adults can do that too, kids are not unique in this).
This is why it’s important to contribute to the household as a family. Divide the chores up between family members to help them understand what hard work is. They won’t be ecstatic about unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming the floor or hanging up the laundry, but these chores will help them understand all you’ve done for them and what they can do for you as well.
2. Learn to Live With Less
When everything has always been at your fingertips, it’s easy to take the little things for granted. This is why it’s important to remind your children how lucky they are to have the things they do. You can easily do this by taking something away each week or month. This doesn’t mean giving away your TV or anything too extreme, but instead learning to appreciate what you have by eliminating conveniences for a while.
Discussing decluttering is a whole different blog topic – but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that having less actually results in more quality family time (less time playing with things rather than each other, less time tidying up at the end of the day).
Try going a whole day without your screens, cooking instead of take away or even shutting off your electricity for a bit. By taking these conveniences away, your kids can learn that they have a lot to be grateful for that we often take for granted.
3. Be Grateful More Often
While this can seem a bit vague, it’s incredibly rewarding to find ways to be grateful more often. By making it into a ritual with your family, you can teach them how to remind themselves of all the things to be grateful for. For example, every morning before they leave for school, ask your kids what they are grateful for. You can even make it into a fun game to see who can think of the most things they are grateful for. Many families do this when they say grace with meals or prayers at night – while prayer is about communicating with a higher deity, there is also something in the gratefulness for all that you are grateful for. We in the Western world are truly blessed with so many things that the majority of the world does not have.
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