Do you want to raise a grateful child?
Of course, you do! But, in this day and age, it can be a struggle and a real challenge for many parents.
So stick around till the end of this post, because I will share some helpful tips on how to raise a grateful child who are not self-entitled and a complaining one.
A grateful life has many advantages.
As we approach Thanksgiving, parents and teachers talk to children about the importance of gratitude and thank them for the many wonderful gifts they have received in life. But these are useful lessons for the whole year.
It is important to teach children to be grateful because gratitude is a learned behavior.
When your child learns to practice gratitude, he or she benefits from the many proven advantages that gratitude offers:
Including empathy for others and a stronger ability to overcome obstacles and face difficulty.
Practicing gratitude was indeed associated with happiness, self-confidence, compassion, and much more.
But how exactly can loving adults convey a sense of gratitude to their children?
12 Simple Ways to Raise a Grateful Child
You probably understand that you do not teach your child appreciation and gratitude in one lesson, but that this continues throughout the day.
And of course, it is not only about teaching appreciation of material things. What is important is to teach your child to be grateful for experiences and to appreciate other people.
1- Thank your child
Just like with “respect to be respected” children learn to appreciate when they are valued themselves. Thank your child for doing small chores around the house or waiting patiently.
Thank your child if he remains in a certain situation. Show him what it is like to be appreciated and let him experience that his efforts to do good or be patient are appreciated.
Let him hear how gratitude sounds and how easy it is to integrate it into his daily life.
2- Show them how you thank others
Our children learn so much by observing us. We can tell our children to be grateful, but of course, it has much more effective if you show it.
Tell your child what a neighbor, acquaintance, or stranger did and make it clear how much you appreciate them.
Show your partner that you appreciate her or his cooking skills, household help, and his or her role as a parent in front of the children.
In this way, children learn that not everything that someone else does is self-evident, and that there should also be an appreciation for doing what is expected of you.
3- Don’t give your child everything he/she wants
There’s a phrase that “Kids who get everything don’t value anything”, but there is certainly some truth to it.
As a parent, you tend to buy a little something for your child every time you go to the store together. At least, I do quickly.
Make sure your child notices that he gets something one time and nothing the other. As a result, he will express his appreciation more often when he does get something.
4- Give him the things he needs, and provide opportunities to earn the things he wants
Earning something can take many forms. This can be a reward for achieving a certain goal, or spending money for some chores.
Even if you don’t want to spend pocket money on chores, you can make extra money available for the extras he wants.
In this way, he learns that you have to work hard to have fun or to buy something that you would like to have.
5- Reasonable Rewards
It doesn’t take much to make children happy, but when they receive great rewards every time, they tend to be more materialistic. If you give your child pocket money, keep the amount low.
If a child is very young and is learning to be toilet trained, reward them with a nice sticker instead of toys or money.
Save the big rewards – like computer games, or an amusement park trip, for a special occasion, so that it continues to hold value.
6- Make it clear if the child is ungrateful
If your child is ungrateful, don’t blame him but explain it. “You assume that you are entitled to this, or that it should be, but it doesn’t work that way.”
Example: Some children shout at the table when the food comes on the table: “Yuck! I don’t like that, I think that’s gross! ”
Of course, they may not like it. But it is good to teach your child to appreciate that someone else has done their best to prepare something tasty.
7- Give back to the community
There are so many ways to give back to the community and the less fortunate. Instead of doing this alone, you can involve your children.
You can bring clothes, toys or books to the Giveaway or Thrift Store. Do an extra message and give it to the homeless person at the supermarket exit.
8- Help your children recognize the needs of others around them
Whatever your family situation, there will always be people around you who are (even) worse off. Talk about it with your children.
When you bring your child to bed at night, tell them how nice it is that they can lie in such a nice warm bed and that the fridge is full of good food and drinks.
In this way, the child learns to appreciate health and caring within a family.
9- Tell your children about developing countries
Tell your children how things are in some other countries. Tell your children that not everyone lives the way they do in the West.
Tell your child that children often do not have toys in developing countries. Make it clear that the world is bigger than its own ‘world’. You can even save together for a good cause.
10- Integrate daily gratitude into your family’s routine
Whether it’s part of the mealtime routine, or the bedtime routine, or conversational reading. Encourage your child to be thankful every day.
Remind them that nothing is taken for granted. Before going to sleep, for example, I pray with my son. We are always grateful for the day and pray for the children who are not so happy.
11- Write thank-you notes
Write old-fashioned thank-you notes. Who does not like to receive a letter or a card with a thank you on it?
They help a child realize that it is good to thank the person who did or said something nice. On the back, you can write something yourself that you were grateful for that day or for which you want to praise your child.
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12- A gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to be grateful. Normally, when people write the things that happen to them during the day, they usually complain because not everything is how they would like it to be and for this reason they write: to vent.
But instead of venting for bad things, why not vent for good things? It is turning the tables and writing to feel good.
Teach your child how to be grateful by writing for all the good things that happen to them everyday. Leaving aside the negative things that take away their energy.
If you want your children to learn about this, an excellent idea is to give them the idea of doing it themselves … but tell them that they should not only be thankful for what they have, but for the good things that happen to them.
The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids is a guide to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for children.
It is a self exploration journal designed to focus on being thankful for what we have, the big things in life, as well as the simple joys.
Each well designed and kid-friendly daily spread contains space to list out three things you are thankful for, a person who brought you joy and how you felt about your day.
This gratitude journal for kids is available on Amazon.
Grab a copy for your child and share the journey!
Final Thoughts on How to Raise a Grateful Child
Gratitude and kindness are not easy to teach children but can be achieved by example and consistent daily education.
If we want our child to be grateful, we have to set an example with our behavior. If they see that we are grateful with our life, our family and our work, they will see it as something positive and they will imitate us.
Gratitude like any other feeling can be enhanced and encouraged from the family.
Our children will be grateful when things go well for them or when we positively reinforce their attitudes. But if we promote gratitude every day, this feeling will settle in their personality and become part of their character.
How to Raise a Grateful Child Book Recommendation:
- The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World by Amy McCready
How to Raise a Grateful Child Related Articles
- How to Motivate Your Child Without Rewards Or Punishment
- How to Compliment Your Kids Without Spoiling Them
- 16 Important Life Lessons to Teach Your Kids
- 6 Secrets of Raising a Happy Child
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