In our busy lives, we often forget to express gratitude. We just go on with our lives, oblivious to how fortunate we are compared to so many others. This makes it all the more important that we teach our children to feel and express gratitude for everything they have in life.
But as with most other parenting endeavors, teaching your children gratitude isn’t easy. Sustained effort and a lot of patience on your part is required to instil a spirit of gratitude in your child that will last a lifetime.
It is an unfortunate fact that children tend to model negative behaviors that they observe around them faster than positive ones. Therefore, it is essential that you, as a parent, ensure that they learn gratitude early in life and that it is a behavior that is positively reinforced.
One of the most important reasons why you need to teach your child gratitude is that individuals who show gratitude tend to be happier than those who do not express gratitude and instead focus solely on the negatives in their lives. In other words, if you teach your child gratitude, you are setting them up for a much happier future.
So, without further ado, check out some of the simple yet useful tips to teach gratitude to your child successfully:
- Be a good role model: Your kid is observing your behavior and actions most of the time. So, it essential that you demonstrate the positive behaviors you want them to imbibe, and avoid any negative behaviors. Parents need to practice gratitude on a daily basis to ensure that their children learn from them. Once you start implementing this step, you will be able to see the slow but visible changes in your child’s behavior and approach towards life.
- Talk to them: In the era of smart devices, parents tend to spend less time with their children, since they are always logged onto their devices. So, make a genuine effort to talk to your child regularly. Understand how your child thinks about life. Speak to them in terms that they will understand. Only then they will truly comprehend your words and their meaning. Children have got an excellent learning ability. Utilize it to the fullest in your endeavor to teach your child gratitude.
- Use creativity: You can create photo album or a scrapbook type collection where you can teach your child to collect or write things about their lives for which they feel grateful. Include photos of the events and activities which your kids have participated in the past. Make it look attractive and represent them to your children. It will remind your child about the positives of their life, and make them feel all the more grateful.
- Ask them to volunteer: Find out the volunteering activities going on in your area. Then contact them and check if they allow children of your child’s age to volunteer with them. If yes, then discuss the idea with your child. By volunteering, your children will better understand and appreciate how fortunate their lives are.
- Teach them to donate: Donation is one of the best things you can do. You don’t have to donate hefty amounts of money. Just ensure that you and your child donate some amount of your money to individuals who genuinely require it. This will certainly go a long way towards instilling a sense of gratitude in your child, and along with it, a feeling of wanting to give back.
Remember that you play a significant role in your child’s psychological and emotional development. It is therefore essential that you be the one to teach them gratitude, so that they may lead happier lives, while also spreading some happiness to those around them.