Thursday, March 7, 2013

raising grateful children

There are a million things I want to instill in my child... integrity. courage. a sense of humor. kindness. and what I'm thinking about today... GRATITUDE.

I want to teach my daughter to be thankful.

But how to do this? How do we keep our children from developing that sense of entitlement that seems to so easily work it's way in? 

I found a great article, & I wanted to share it. Do you agree with these points? Do you have any points to add? 

How to Raise a Grateful Child:

  1. Be a Gratitude Role Model. You know you're grateful. But your children don't know unless you say it aloud. Talk about how much you appreciate their father. Or how appreciative you are for the friends you have. Or how glad you are that y'all are getting to spend the day together as a family. Your outwardly expressed gratitude teaches them by example.
  2. Simplicity matters. When you keep things simple, anything out of the ordinary matters more. When you eat at home most of the time, going to a restaurant is a big deal. When you drive older cars, a new(er) car is something to be thrilled about. When your family keeps a low profile most of the time, going to Build-A-Bear or an amusement park is a huge treat.
  3. Talk about the world. Talk about how your food comes to be on your table. Talk about how your family's mail appears... that someone actually brings it to you. Talk about how things are made. Talk about why things happen & why things are important. Talking about things that don't directly affect your children reminds them that other people matter... that they aren't the center of the universe. It teaches them perspective.
  4. Teach actions.  Help your child write a thank you note. Have your child paint a picture & help make cookies for an elderly family friend. Sort through clothing & toys & talk to your child about donating the items & how they'll help someone else. Understanding the concept of helping others discourages selfishness & a "me, me, me" attitude.
  5. Build thanks into your daily routine. Children (& adults) respond to routine... so make giving thanks part of their (& your) daily tasks. For older children, have them keep a gratitude journal where they write one thing every day. For younger children, ask them every night during their bedtime routine what they're thankful for. 
(adapted from Awesomely Awake.)

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