As parents, it is important to teach our children about gratitude and thankfulness.
Gratitude not only feels good but it is good for us. Practicing gratitude has mental benefits such as improving one’s mood, making one more optimistic, improving social bonds, and even improving your physical health. Gratitude also teaches us to focus on what’s good in our lives and to be thankful for what we have.
“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” – Will Arnett
Help your child develop gratitude and thankfulness with a few of these gracious tips
Teach Them Manners Early
Of course, you want your children to be respectful, kind, and hospitable towards others. When they are young, teaching them to simply say “thank you” establishes manners as well as a sense of gratitude. Manners go beyond saying the right things at the dinner table; they’re also important outside those four walls too (or on-the boardroom floor). And this begins by teaching our kids how to give thanks through words alone early enough so that these habits become ingrained into who he/she becomes as an adult.
To be generous means to show kindness to others. However, generosity goes beyond giving compliments or even saying “thank you”. Generous people are the ones who give more than is expected of them. Teaching children to be generous, shows them that it is okay to share with those who may not have as much as they do. Sharing a snack with their friend and helping their grandparents with yard work without being asked are great ways to show generosity in their everyday lives. Their generosity towards others will spark joy in the lives of the giver and receiver. We are all better for it!
Find a Goodwill Project
Whether it’s collecting winter coats for homeless shelters or cleaning up trash in a local park, consider taking on something new this year and involve the kids!
Do a service project or go on a mission trip. Or allow your children to suggest a cause that stirs their hearts. As a family, come up with ways to serve, volunteer, or fundraise.
Be an Example
Are you walking in gratitude and thankfulness? Even when things aren’t going as planned, are you grateful for the “little” things? Do they hear you complaining and speaking negatively about a situation or are they listening to the positive words of life you speak? If you need an activity to ignite gratitude in your heart, go on a gratitude walk, write in a journal, or intentionally have a conversation with someone that makes your heart smile. I know that there are challenging seasons in life but even the challenges present things to be grateful for. Put yourself in a position to appreciate the lessons. Remember, our children re-watching.
Teaching children gratitude and thankfulness is a small investment with big payoffs. Our kids will learn to appreciate what they have, not only making them happier but also more self-sufficient adults. Show yours how much you care by giving them the gift of gratitude this holiday season!
Grace and gratitude go together. Learn about making a tree to help children learn about both.
Check out these grateful Quotes for kids.
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