Instilling Gratitude in Your Children Will Change Their Lives
How to put a little gratitude in their attitude!
Gratitude is the gateway to humility. It is appreciating everything you have and realizing how lucky you are. There are a lot of spoiled children out there that do not appreciate what they have. This isn’t their fault. It is our responsibility as parents to instill gratitude in our children. If we don’t do this, we risk raising children who are selfish and expect the world to hand them everything.
Gratitude isn’t only about being thankful for gifts, it is an appreciation for the blessings in our lives. When we are feeling sorry for ourselves, gratitude is that voice that reminds us to be thankful. Thankful for our health, our family, and the roof over our heads.
Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude are less likely to experience depression and dissatisfaction in life. Gratitude also fosters optimism and resilience, which are tools to overcome disappointments in our personal and professional lives.
I have a ten-year-old step-daughter named Charlotte and a two-year-old daughter named Willow. They are blessed with lots of love and also lots of material items (they have 6 sets of grandparents!).
Charlotte is always excited and grateful to receive any gifts that she has. She is a very happy child. I find Charlotte has a lust for life that is contagious. I believe she understands how lucky she is and wants to help people.
We can work with a child of any age to ensure they know how to appreciate whatever they are given in their lives. The lesson of gratitude can start with gifts. They are tangible and something children can hold in their hands. Once they have mastered being thankful for presents and not expecting them, the teaching of gratitude for the intangible will follow.
Teach them the magic words
Since willow was able to babble we started teaching her “please and thank you”. She is still working on please but is starting to say thank you all the time. We taught her by leading by example. When she has something she shouldn’t have we ask: “May I please have that?”. When she gives us the item, we thank her. We also remind her to say please and thank you when interacting with others.