Four Ways On How You Can Raise Grateful Children
When we are raising our little tots, it is common to teach them the basics of manners and politeness like saying “please” and “thank you”. However, teaching your child to be thankful is the tip of the iceberg because it is the beginning of an important lesson you need them to learn – gratitude. The world we live in has become a toxic environment, teaching young minds to develop a sense of entitlement that shouldn’t be encouraged at all. Here’s what you can do to nip it in the bud.
Set An Example
If your children see you expressing genuine gratitude, they will learn from your example. It will be virtually impossible to instill principles in your children that you yourself do not uphold. It isn’t news that much of what children learn comes from what they see their parents doing, so if you sincerely thank your waitress when you’re out or any other good deed, it can go a long way. Don’t forget to thank your children, too, for whatever helpful things they do, like putting away their toys.
Chores are an essential part of growing up, especially when it comes to instilling gratitude into your children. When children grow up knowing or thinking that there is always someone to put food on the table, clean up after them, wash their clothes, and even lay out their clothes for them, it can be very easy to develop an attitude of entitlement. This is not something that you want to foster in your kids, and it can go a long way in avoiding it if you give them tasks to do at home to help them realize that everyone in the household should contribute something. Begin teaching this to your kids when they are very young when they can handle a broom, use a rag or feather duster, or pack the dishwasher!
Teach Them About Finances
Your children should appreciate the value of every little thing, and it begins with teaching them that behind every purchase is consists of hard work and saving. This can be taught to them by making them do their chores or perform small activities in order to earn money and reward them for their school efforts. This way, you can teach them to save up for something they desire. If they have saved up for something and know how hard they have worked for it, they will be much more likely to appreciate that item and to look after it more carefully. Similarly, they can better understand why you or your spouse go to work to make money to afford everything around them as well. It is just one piece of the bigger picture, but an important piece, indeed! Help them as they grow up to also understand that their college education can be paid for with scholarships through hard work as well.
Spend Vacations Differently
There are better ways for your children to enjoy and spend their time on vacations than by visiting Disneyland or some similar theme park or recreational facility. It isn’t the waterparks and wild thrill rides that will foster gratitude in your kids — as enjoyable as they may be. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t take your kids out for fun, but that isn’t the be-all and end-all! Encourage your children to participate in community projects or outreach programs, and if affordable, convince them to participate in those that extend out of the country’s borders. This way, they see how the rest of the world is living and gather an understanding of poverty and what it is like to live without the most basic necessities. Help them to see how much suffering there is in the world and help them see that they can do something to make a difference. When they return home, they will be all the more grateful for everything they have. Don’t forget to remind them of their experiences, too, to keep the lessons fresh in their minds.
Begin reinforcing the teaching of gratitude in your home today, and raise thankful children who will appreciate everything they have and everything they will have. It will help them have more meaningful relationships and generally enjoy more happiness out of life. It’s the least you could do!
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