Teaching your kids to be grateful can be a challenge in our materialistic culture. Here are some easy tips to teaching your kids to be thankful.
Teaching kids to be thankful proves to be one of the most difficult tasks to endure as a parent. In a world consumed by materialism as a source of happiness, it’s no wonder kids are growing up ungrateful for the things they have and instead longing for the things they don’t have. It begins with us as role models, practicing gratitude and gratefulness!
PLEASE AND THANK YOU
Please and thank you goes a long way. Be sure to use these words when talking to your children and encourage them to do the same. They will imitate the adults around them. Being polite and having manners is the first step to a thankful child.
ATTITUDE IS A CHOICE
Attitude is a choice and it is up to them whether they are thinking positively or
negatively. Teach your children to make a conscience choice to have a better attitude. When
something isn’t going their way, have them name something positive that they are grateful for to
help turn their outlook around. A potential “I can’t” meltdown can be turned into “can you please help me” instead. These are important lessons that will greatly benefit children as they get older.
HANDWRITTEN THANK YOU CARDS
Handwritten thank you cards are a great way to have your child reflect on a gift that was given to them and connect to that person in a meaningful way. Thought and effort went into that gift but so often we take these things for granted. Teach your children thankfulness by showing gratitude through a hand written note and those gifts will hold more significance.
HAVE CHILDREN HELP WITH AGE APPROPRIATE CHORES
to appreciate what it takes to run a household. Laundry and dishes don’t clean themselves and most children have no idea the time and effort it takes to complete these tasks on a daily basis. Make a chart and have children complete one chore each day. Praise and thank them on a job well done. For school aged children, take this a step further by having them write thank you notes for school janitors and lunch room attendants. These are jobs that get done unnoticed. Children will take more pride in their home and school.
MAKE A THANKFUL JAR
Create a thankful jar and have the kids write down one thing they are grateful for each week. At the end of the month, sit down as a family and take turns reading the notes aloud. Life gets busy and it’s easy to get swept up and forget why we go through the motions each day. Teach your kids to be thankful for all things big and small and life becomes more meaningful.
HELP OTHERS WITHOUT BEING ASKED
Part of teaching our children to be thankful, is helping them to see when other people are in need. Teach by example by lending a hand to a neighbor or friend. Donate canned goods or used clothing and explain to them why you are giving. A giving heart teaches children to see what other people don’t have and to appreciate what they do have.