How To Teach Your Child To Be Grateful– Teaching your child gratitude is not easy because children are by nature quite egocentric. However, impressing the importance of gratitude will benefit your child tremendously in later life. Children who are grateful will grow up to be generally happier, healthier, and more resilient. They will also be able to build strong relationships with others.
Understanding and practicing how to be grateful is a process that will take all of us a lifetime. So it’s truly important to start gently leading our kids even from a very young age towards understanding what it means to be grateful.
Benefits Of Being Grateful
Being Grateful decreases stress because you are focussing more on the positives. Grateful children and adults don’t concern themselves with being envious or jealous. They are generally more optimistic as they won’t waste time comparing themselves to others.
Ability to Show Empathy
Grateful children are more able to show kindness and be more generous towards their peers. They are better equipped to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
How To Teach Your Child To Be Grateful
Be An Example
We all know kids see everything we do and say. So it’s really important to remember that if we want our children to grow up to be grateful then we need to lead by example. Say a genuine “Thank you” to those you come across when you are out and about doing errands with your child.
Don’t forget to also thank your children when they do something for you as well. Children need to feel appreciated just like adults do. If your child does something like pack away their toys or sets the table for dinner give them a heartfelt thanks. Doing this models gratitude to them and it also reinforces positive behaviour.
Teach Them To Say “Thank You” In Different Ways
Some kids find it difficult to say thank you verbally because they may either be shy or feel awkward. So it’s a good idea to teach them that there are other ways to say thank you. Let your child know that they could smile, wave, give a thumbs up, or even a high five. These are fun ways kids can express gratitude to others.
Talk To Your Kids
Kids love to spend time talking to their parents or caregivers. They appreciate those moments of undivided attention. Take these opportunities to talk to them about how important it is to be thankful for what they have. Gently explain that this is not always the case for everybody and this will encourage your child to be more compassionate towards others.
Make Gratitude A Daily Habit
Saying grace at mealtimes is a wonderful way to practice gratitude for the blessing of a meal. Bedtime is another perfect opportunity for saying thank you. You could ask your child to think of some things that happened during their day that they are thankful for. This can be added to their bedtime prayers.
Help Out In The Community
Gratitude and giving work in partnership. Children will understand what gratitude looks like if they’re raised in a home that helps out in the community.
You can find places to spend time volunteering with your older child. There are also many opportunities when you can work together with your family to donate to charity. For example, consider collecting toys or non-perishable food items for less fortunate families during Christmas time.
Practicing charity as a family is not only great for family bonding it’s also perfect for teaching children that life is not always about what you receive. It’s also about what you give to help others.
It’s Never Too Early To Teach Your Child To Be Grateful
Teaching young children an abstract concept like gratitude can be a bit tricky however it’s probably one of the most important things that you can instill in them. Practicing gratitude equips children to be kinder and more thoughtful towards others. So it’s never too early to start planting the seeds of a grateful heart in your child.