As parents, we want to raise children who are gracious and thankful. I know there are times Zack and I, think are we are not doing enough to make sure we teach our own children how show gratitude
According to Harvard University, gratitude can be a powerful way to combat daily stress. Participants that actively engage and express gratitude are more positive emotionally and physically. How do we start teaching our young children gratitude? You most likely are already doing it! Here are some ways you can help nurture gratitude with your children.
Children model our actions and reactions. The more your child sees you thanking others, the more likely they will model this back. Whenever they give you the smallest of gifts, or are being helpful, thank your child specifically and let them know exactly why you are grateful.
Teach Kids to Express Their Thanks
Help your child write a thanks you note, draw a picture, or bake a “thank you” treat after they receive something special. Another way is make it a family ritual to share what each family member is grateful for each day. Keep it simple and fun with a focus on how saying thank you makes everyone feel.
Take as many opportunities as you can to help others with your child. This could be cleaning out old toys and donating it an organization that will distribute to other children. Bring food to food drive or a local food pantry. Other ideas is helping an elderly neighbor with yard work, bringing food to a sick friend or making cards to children in the hospital.
Reinforce Please and Thank You
Model and use the simple words “please” and “thank you.” Although the words can be automatic at times, they remind us of how often throughout our day we are giving and receiving. We have all experience at times how a simple thank you has changed someone’s day.
A child who gets to spend time with a parent feels special and cared for. During this holiday season think of gifts that will promote time together such as trips to the museum, or jump park. To promote spending time together at home, you could give craft kits, puzzles and board games.
Gift of Time
Everyone appreciates a grateful attitude and having a grateful attitude helps create a positive home and environment. Things take time so start with one thing and add more as time goes on. Every family dynamic is different, so find ways to encourage gratefulness that is a fit with your family ‘s styles and values.