An Attitude of Gratitude-Growing Grateful Kids
We are living in a time where so many things are right at our fingertips. Our children have become accustomed to having things “now” and have difficulty waiting for anything. Generations past did not live in the same “give me now” way of life. So, what can we do to help our children learn gratitude and have a thankful attitude? There are ways to teach an attitude of gratitude to young children. Let’s take a look at some helpful ways to grow thankful kids.
First, model gratitude yourself. Children are watching, so allow them to see you showing appreciation and gratitude. Point out little things to be thankful for and let them see and hear you being thankful. Teach them to say thank you and show appreciation for gifts and acts of service. Spend some time with your child each day talking about things you are thankful for and help them to do the same. Provide opportunities for your child to help with tasks. Young children enjoy helping and this is a good way for them to show appreciation.
Give, and find ways to get your child involved in giving. The holidays are a great time to find ways to give to family, friends, and your community. Take your child shopping to buy gifts for others or donate gifts to local toy drives. There are endless opportunities to teach giving which helps to teach thankfulness and gratitude. “Instilling grateful feelings now
will benefit your child later in life.” It is better to start teaching this to your child from an early age. Toddlers and preschoolers can begin to understand gratitude.
It is important to say “no” sometimes and give them the chance to wait for something. Giving your child everything, they want all the time will not make them grateful or thankful. It can have the opposite effect. Our society leans toward a “get what you want now” attitude, and we need to try to teach our children that they can not have everything they want exactly when they want it. Waiting for things teaches patience.
Thanksgiving and the holiday season are a great time to focus on gratitude. Try starting a new tradition to teach gratefulness and gratitude. Take food to a neighbor, make homemade gifts for family and friends, go shopping and donate the gifts to those in need. Find something you can do to help instill an attitude of gratitude. The benefits will last a lifetime!
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.” Psalm 118:1