Gratitude is defined by the dictionary as, “being thankful; showing appreciation”. Showing gratitude and being thankful for what you have is an important concept for children to learn. So, it is important to teach your children gratitude.
It teaches them to appreciate all that they have, to appreciate this wonderful, mysterious gift called life. And to teach them the value of hard work as well (most things we have that we’re grateful for, are a product of hard work, after all).
In this article, we’ll discuss the various ways to lovingly teach your children gratitude all-important concept. It will serve as a building block to help them round into well-mannered adults with a realistic appreciation for the world around them.
With time, effort, and patience, your children will pick up the skill of showing gratitude.
8 Ways to Teach your Children Gratitude:
1. Practice What You Preach
To curtail rebellion in children, they mustn’t find fault in your behavior. It’s easy enough to preach to children about gratitude, but if you’re complaining and negative while doing so, this looks incongruous to your children. They will be less likely to follow your lead.
Teaching children gratitude is really teaching yourself to be thankful for this mysterious gift we call life and all that it entails. By modeling gratitude in the first place, your children, who naturally look to you for leadership, will follow suit by showing you and the world around them gratitude.
2. Show Them Gratitude
Teaching children gratitude isn’t about being zealot-like in your approach and shouting a bunch of commands at them. It’s about showing genuine thankfulness for the world around you, including the children themselves.
By showing them that you’re thankful to have them in your life, you’re teaching them the value of gratitude. You can rest assured that they will extend that same kindness to you and everyone else around them.
3. Giving Gifts
One way in which your child can learn the value of gratitude is to show appreciation to their peers in the form of gift-giving. Giving a gift to someone with the intent of showing them love lets them know that you appreciate them and that you’re happy for their well-being. This is a valuable skill that can have numerous implications as they grow older.
When fostering a thankfulness for the world around them, this definitely includes showing thankfulness to people. This is why gift-giving is a good way to foster gratitude in your children. Teach them the value of giving gifts and feeling joy from the act of seeing others happy as a result.
4. The Value of Hard Work
Doing things for your children is often a strategy that most parents employ because it’s easier and convenient. As a parent, it’s understandable to want to do things for your child, instinctual even.
Having your children help around the house with small contributions will help them understand the effort that goes into what they might take for granted otherwise.
As they get older, challenge them with increasingly greater challenges, like Orton Gillingham training. They will learn to be grateful for what they have.
Inevitably, you might encounter some resistance, so giving them rewards for their contributions will help motivate them. And in time, they’ll appreciate what they have and the work behind it that made it possible.
As the old saying goes, “you only live once”, with that fact comes the realization that we only get one body and that it’s vital to cherish and nourish it.
Teaching your children to exercise instills gratitude for their bodies, which, in turn, leads to a multitude of health benefits and instilling within them the healthy habits needed for longevity.
Teaching your children to be thankful for their bodies through exercise is one way to instill this all-important concept in them during their crucial formative years.
Exercise has numerous proven benefits which will foster good feelings in your children, ensuring longer and healthier lives and in the process teaching them gratitude by showing appreciation to their own growing bodies.
Getting them involved in sports at an early age is one way to go about it. If you already have a membership to a fitness club, bringing your children along for workouts (when they’re of age) is one way to model gratitude and show them the way. Exercise is a good skill to have and a crucial way to teach your children gratitude.
6. Accept Adversity
Let’s face it, life is hard, and disappointment is inevitable. A child without gratitude might melt in the face of setbacks. Teaching your children resilience in the face of challenges will not only toughen them up but teach them to be thankful when things are going well.
As a parent, it’s understandable to want to coddle your children and shield them from such happenings as much as possible. However, teaching them that setbacks are part of life will help them learn to be thankful for their successful moments. Reward them for their good works, but don’t be afraid to give them constructive criticism when needed as well.
Provide them with the support system they need so that they can learn and fail at will and teach them it’s all part of the learning process. With time, they’ll understand that setbacks aren’t the end of the world and that you have to fail to learn. They will understand all that goes into being a successful person.
This is a major part of helping them round into a person with an innate and deep understanding of gratitude. Finding things to be thankful for in the face of adversity is a wonderful trait to have for anyone. Passing this trait on to your children will have numerous positive effects on their young lives.
Having your children participate in charitable organizations is a great way to teach them to be thankful for what they have. Participating in charitable activities is hard work that positively instills discipline in your children. It helps teach them what gratitude looks like in the real world.
By working in their community and seeing gratitude in action, they will begin to foster empathy and care for others less fortunate for them.
This will lead to many things such as a greater ability to make friends and connections that will last a lifetime, as people tend to gravitate towards those with a positive outlook.
Participating in charitable works and being an active part in helping others will help them grow and mature in the right way and teaching them gratitude in the process. The best way to teach your children gratitude.
8. The Little Things
There are extra things you can do every day to teach your children gratitude, the following is a list of small things you can do to help foster gratitude in your children:
- Insisting that they say, “thank you” to everyone around them, this starts with you, of course, so tell your children “thank you” and they will, in turn, tell you the same.
- Leaving them notes telling them that you appreciate them.
- Working gratitude into your conversations every day.
- Teaching them good manners such as cleaning up after themselves and helping their friends in various ways.
- Surprise them with gifts and reward them for their good works.
With these tips, you can lovingly and effectively teach your children gratitude. Gratitude is a valuable skill that your children should pick up in their formative years and will repeatedly help them as they mature.
By understanding the need to be thankful for what they have and the world around them, you help them build the foundation they need to be well-rounded adults in the future. They will appreciate the people around them and the people around them will return the favor in kind.
Teaching your children gratitude will have implications in all areas of their life, and help them on the road to being a successful, well-rounded, healthy, and balanced person.
Remember, patience is the key to teach your children gratitude, it won’t happen overnight. Stick with it and your children will grow to appreciate you and all that you do for them, and they will learn what it means to appreciate life.