When we have an attitude of gratitude, it can significantly increase our overall happiness and satisfaction in life. Being grateful for the things we have plays an important role in staying optimistic and maintaining quality relationships. When we are grateful and take time to acknowledge the good things in our lives, it can also benefit our physical and mental health and wellbeing. This approach to life can reduce stress and increase our emotional resilience. Since having an attitude of gratitude can improve the quality of our lives in so many ways, raising grateful kids should be one of the top priorities of every parent.
Learning how to say “thank you” something we probably all teach our children. But beyond saying these magic words, it’s also imperative that they’re taught how to be appreciative of what they have, no matter how big or small. You can instill and reinforce the importance of gratitude by checking out these tips for raising grateful kids!
Lead by example
Kids who are grateful are raised by parents who are also grateful. We can’t encourage our children to cultivate an attitude of gratitude when we aren’t thankful for the things we have in our own lives. Children observe their parents’ every word, action, and behavior. Set a positive example for your kids to mirror in their own lives.
Make an effort to display acts of gratitude, and let your children see you do this, even in little ways. Even if it’s something as simple as thanking the cashier at the grocery store or the person who held the door for you at the restaurant. Our kids need to witness how we display appreciation for people in all different ways.
Express your gratitude for your kids and the things they do
Another tip to help us raise grateful kids is to express our gratitude towards them. Let your children know how much you appreciate them and how thankful you are for everything they do. Remember to thank them, even for the little stuff like cleaning up their toys, finishing their meal, or sharing their belongings with a friend.
You can thank them verbally by saying something like, “Thank you for behaving well and staying quiet while I was on a conference call.” You can also show your appreciation through kind and thoughtful gestures. Give your child a hug, or make his or her favorite snack or meal to show your love and appreciation.
Talk about what being grateful means
Most children understand that saying “thank you” is a basic part of being polite and courteous. But when it comes to raising grateful kids, parents also need to take time to discuss what it actually means to be grateful. It’s important that children understand the reason why they’re saying “thank you”. It’s important to help children genuinely appreciate what they have and the things that people have done for them.
You can start by talking to your child and ask about the things for which he or she feels grateful. Allow your child to reflect on the things he or she appreciates, no matter how big or small.
Focus on the bright side of things
Being grateful is also about paying attention to and focusing on the good things we enjoy in life, despite negative circumstances. Help your child learn how to look at silver linings. Kids need to understand that even when life isn’t perfect some things go wrong, and there will be bad days, there are always good things for which they can be thankful. Help your kids develop a positive mindset and learn to keep things in perspective while they’re young.
For example, if your child is complaining about not being able to buy a desired toy because it’s out of stock,, you can shift the focus to the things he or she does have. Help your child realize that he or she still has other toys to play with, which is better than having none. Teach children to focus on what they have rather than what they don’t.
Make gratitude part of your everyday lives by creating family rituals. One way to do this is by engaging in a reflection before bedtime each night. Take a moment to recall together at least three things you and your child are thankful for that day. Make this a daily habit, and it will further encourage positivity in your family. You can also do this kind of thing during dinner, so everybody has an opportunity to share what they appreciate after a long day at school or work.
One of the most important lessons parents need to instill in their children is the attitude of gratitude. Help your little one grow up to be a happy and well-adjusted adult by following these tips for raising grateful kids.
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