Tips for Teaching Gratitude

Tips for Teaching Gratitude

A fear of many parents is raising entitled children.  As parents, we have to ask ourselves, what are some ways to teach our children to be more grateful? Listed below are a few great tips from www.healthychildren.org:

Talk about the best parts of your day: Find some time each day to talk about what you are thankful for– perhaps at the dinner table, before bed, or while you are driving in the car. Ask your children, “What was the best part of your day?”

For older children, try keeping a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals have been shown to be an effective approach to helping children be happier. This could be as easy as listing 5 things they are grateful for each day.

Help your children serve someone who does not “need” charity: It’s great for kids to participate in scout food collections and other community charity programs, but these events only occur a few times per year and you rarely meet the people you are serving. Find someone in your everyday life for your children to serve regularly, even if this person doesn’t really need charity. For example, you could take dinner to an elderly neighbor.

Focus on the positive, all day: A good rule to keep and remind your children of is that, “Attitude IS a choice.” 

Say “Thank you:” Teach young children to say “thank you” as part of a full sentence, for example, “Thank you, Daddy, for making dinner,”  and “Thank you Coach for coaching practice tonight.”

Lead by example: How many times per day do you say “thank you”? Have you told your children what you are thankful for today? Our children are watching our every waking move.

Monitor your children’s media: Our children are bombarded with age-targeted marketing that they are too young to resist or understand. Media fuels materialism. It is our job to carefully monitor their media so that they aren’t dragged into marketing and made to feel incomplete or unfulfilled.

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