Growing grateful kids, teaching gratitude and how to be content are important to building a strong character. Children are not born knowing how to be thankful or grateful. So, how can we grow grateful kids? How can we teach our children to be content and thankful? There are several easy ways to bring this into your daily lives, so your children grow up showing gratitude.
The number one thing a parent can do to teach their children how to be grateful is to lead by example. Kids watch and learn more from what they see, than from what they hear. Start from when your child is very young and begin to implement ways to show thankfulness and contentment into your daily lives. ” A 2016 study published in Applied Developmental Science6 found that grateful parents tend to raise grateful children.” Use practical ways in your everyday life to show your children what it looks like to be grateful and kind. Say “thank you” to those around you, especially when your kids are watching. Be sure to say “thank you” to your kids when they help or do something. Look for ways to show your gratitude to family, friends, and people around you. Talk about what it means to be grateful with your children and show them your gratitude and contentment. The holidays are a great time of year to show gratitude and give thanks. It’s not enough to tell children, it’s more important to model it yourself.
“Gratitude is about more than saying ‘thank you’ or saying you feel grateful. It’s about noticing who or what we’re grateful for, thinking about why we’re grateful, and feeling positive about the experience of gratitude.” Helping your child(ren) think about why they are grateful or who they are grateful for is a first step into helping to shape their character. Making a list of who or what you and your family are grateful for is a good way to help find ways to show gratitude to the people around you. It becomes more than just what you say and turns into something that you do. Taking action is part of the process of helping children to develop gratefulness as part of who they become as adults. Make it a habit and develop ways to practice it on a regular basis. You may be surprised at the results!
Teaching kids to use their manners by saying “thank you” is an important first step. Growing grateful children, however, is more of a lifestyle and heart matter. Being thankful and grateful for who and what we have needs to be taught. Modeling the behavior we want our children to emulate is important. Adults need to be intentional and lead by example. Children learn rather quickly to do what they see. Putting some of these ideas into practice will soon show that you are “growing grateful kids.” The results will be amazing!