How to Introduce the Joy of Thankfulness to Your Children
In the midst of all the seemingly chaotic activities required to raise up infants and children into adulthood is this: The important role of teaching them where happiness lies. There is a prominent line of thought that instilling an attitude of sincere gratitude will open all the doors leading to a happy, well-lived life. (Side note: This is also a polite way of saying that unthankful children are in danger of becoming spoiled, unproductive adults.)
Tips for teaching gratitude
How can you teach a child how to be thankful? It’s an attitude, after all. Seems like a complicated undertaking, but there are opportunities for a person to be grateful every minute of the day. There’s a funny commercial going viral in social media at the moment, and it shows a man waking up in gift wrap, expressing thanks for being alive. His light switches are wrapped, and he gets excited about turning lights on and off, etc.
If you’ve never tried to spend a day being intentionally thankful, as the video hints at, give it a try! It really elevates your mood and fills you with hope. These are more than good feelings. They translate into how you treat yourself and others. People who appreciate you endear themselves to you, don’t they? It’s only natural. Since being thankful opens up a world of bright possibility, the following may be perfect parenting styles to adopt:
- Take time on a regular basis to talk with your child about the blessings of life. Count such blessings as favorite friends to play with; loved ones; natural abilities; and favorite toys.
- Teach children to say “thank you.” It may seem like nothing much, but it serves as continuous reminder that people and things should not be taken for granted. Everyone deserves to be appreciated, and saying thanks achieves that end. Teach children by saying thanks to waiters, to the people who bag your groceries, teachers, police officers, and good cooks. There are countless opportunities to show gratitude, and your children will get the picture.
- Children who are given everything they ask for rarely learn to be grateful. The gratitude impulse becomes diluted, and there is less respect for possessions. Use moderation in giving so that your child can truly be thankful and enjoy the things he or she is blessed with.
- Teach your child the invaluable habit of handwriting thank-you notes. Send thank you notes, for example, to teachers, physicians, people who throw parties, coaches, and kind neighbors who share holiday treats.
- Teach children to give back because there is ultimately more joy and thankfulness to be found in giving than in receiving. It’s a magic of life.
- Most of all, make sure your son or daughter knows that you are thankful for him or her and for their love, hugs, and unique qualities.
You’ll be appreciated
The yummiest perk to teaching your child to be thankful is that you will be appreciated. “ Thank you, Mom and Dad ” are some of the most gratifying words spoken.