Five Tips for Teaching Children to be Grateful #gratitude
In a world that seems to thrive on instant gratification with much attention given to material things, it can sometimes be a challenge to have your child practice the art of thankfulness. With a little work, your child will be mastering an Attitude of Gratitude each day with a smile! Try using some of the tips below to help your child become a pro.
5 Tips for Teaching Children to Be Grateful
- Keep a Gratitude Journal. Ask your child to jot down three things at the end of each day that he is grateful for. It could be something as simple as “The sun was shining today!” or “I made a new friend.” This helps to keep sweet day-to-day happenings in perspective and remind us we can always find something to be grateful for.
- Say “Thank You.” Often and always. Model thankfulness. Did a stranger hold a door open for you? Did your child do something responsible at home? Say “thank you.” Manners should not be lost on family members or strangers. It helps to reinforce the spirit of thankfulness. And who wouldn’t enjoy a little kindness throughout the day?
- Put your gratefulness on paper. Writing is fast becoming a lost art. Did your child receive a special gift from a grandparent or good friend? Be sure to have her write a thank you note. If your child is too young to write, have her draw a picture of her new gift. You can also find simple thank you card templates online for younger children to fill in to make this process simpler.
- Create a Thankful Jar. Make a spot for an empty preserve jar. Cut slips of paper and fasten them to the mouth of the jar with a clothespin. Whenever something that you are especially thankful for happens, write it down and store the slip of paper in the jar. It is fun to watch the jar fill up with so many moments of thankfulness. The best part is taking them out and reading through them together once the jar is filled.
- Pay it Forward. Did something nice happen to your child? Maybe he received an unexpected gift. Encourage him to purge through some of his gently used toys and donate to a children’s center, shelter or church nursery. Have new neighbors? Help your child decorate an inexpensive planter and deliver a new plant to welcome them to the neighborhood. Maybe your child wants to have a lemonade stand. Encourage him to donate some of his profits to someone in need.
Just like most life skills we hope to impart to our children, remember…it takes time. By making thankfulness a part of your daily life, it won’t be long before your child starts to find her own reasons to be grateful each and every day.
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