7 Simple Ways to Raise Grateful Children
Gratitude is inside our minds. Probably, you feel grateful when you visit your family, when you get warm in front of a fireplace, or even when your mom cooks that delicious meal for you on a Sunday. And, of course, we’re all grateful for our kids, because they mean the world to us. This is why it’s so important to raise grateful children.
Many parents think that it’s not very easy to teach children how to be grateful. However, this isn’t true. In fact, we’ll give you some useful tips to help you teach this important value to your children.
1. Share your gratitude in order to raise grateful children
One of the best ways to transmit gratitude to your children is for you to be grateful too. In order to do this, you should try to talk about the things that you’re thankful for and explain why you’re thankful for them.
You can use everyday activities to set examples. Try to ask all of your family members to share with everybody what they’re thankful for. You can do this while you’re taking your children to school, or when you’re having dinner. If you manage to combine your everyday activities with this idea, you’ll never lose the habit of being grateful.
2. Share your household chores with your children
Sometimes, in order to be thankful for something, we need to know the effort that’s behind that action. Sharing your household chores with your children could be a good idea to help them see the effort you make every day. For example, if they’re not grateful for the meals you serve them, include them in the cooking process.
This way, they’ll see how long it takes to cook for the whole family. Besides, they’ll realize that food doesn’t appear as an act of magic. Even though they may not like everything you serve them, they’ll notice the effort.
3. Let them earn something in order to be grateful for it
Sometimes, children find it hard to understand why they can’t have everything they want. Money is an abstract concept for them, as they’ve never had to pay for anything. This is why they don’t understand why you say no sometimes.
Next time your children really want a new toy, help them think in a way to make the money to buy it. As a result, you’ll be raising grateful children.
They could do it by saving their allowance, doing extra activities at home, saving the money that family members give them for their birthday, etc. In the end, they’ll understand the time and effort it takes to get that toy they want. Finally, they’ll be even more grateful than just receiving it as a present.
4. Set expectations to raise grateful children
If every time your children help you with something you give them a snack or a new toy, they’ll be always expecting something. And, once they wait for it, they stop being grateful. In fact, they might become upset if you don’t give them anything in return.
Before going to a store, tell them what you’re going to do. It could go like this: “We’re not buying anything. We’re just going to take a look. If you see something you like, I’ll write it down, so you’ll remember about this on your next birthday.” Then, stick to the plan. As time goes by, their expectations for a new toy will be reduced.
5. Share experiences with your children
Having too many things might make it difficult for them to be thankful. If they have hundreds of toys, they won’t even notice the fifteen new ones that they’ll get during vacations. Try to replace some of these material gifts with experiences together. For example, you could go out with the whole family, or go to the movies together. As a result, these experiences will help you bond and they’ll also remove the desire for new things all the time.
6. Make a list of the things you’re thankful for
Ask your children to write a list of the things they’re thankful for. If they’re too young to write, you can help them make it. It would be like a gratitude journal, something very important to learn how to be grateful.
7. Start a gratitude jar
Just as the list we’ve mentioned before, you can help your children start a gratitude jar. In this case, the whole family can participate and share the things they’re thankful for. Every time you add a new piece of paper to the jar, make sure to tell your children.
You could say things like: “I’m so grateful for the flowers grandma brought. I feel very happy every time I see them. I’m going to put this in the jar”. Then, your children will start looking for things to put in the jar, too. In addition, you can read the notes once a week as a family activity, perhaps, on Sundays after dinner.
About raising grateful children
As you can see, after reading these tips, it’ll be very easy to raise grateful children. What are you waiting for to put all this into practice?