How To Raise Grateful Children:
It can be so challenging nowadays to teach thankfulness and gratitude in a world full of ‘deservers.’
I sometimes think especially as parents, it can be tough to admit or even notice when we have a selfish deserving spirit as well.
What comes to mind immediately for me is my mother. I grew up poor with minimal financial resources in NYC. So as you can imagine, it was easy for us to focus on the things we didn’t have or ‘needed’ instead of focusing on what we already had. I can vividly remember my mother playing the lotto in *hopes* she may win…Or how we would work so hard to save money for nice ‘things.’ And constantly visualizing the items we could have one day. Now, as a parent, I see how unhealthy this is for our children.
Here are a few ways we can cultivate gratitude in our kid’s lives:
Teach them how to be thankful
Not to always have a ‘wanting’ spirit. Gratefulness. Gratitude. I think it can be quite tricky these days to train a child to show appreciation.
Instructing our children to be specific in their gratefulness can allow them to hone in on what they have received! So, with my oldest, I’ll have her say- Thank you, Daddy, for taking me out for ice cream! Oppose to her prior normal- Thanks, Dad! (after having her cup of gelato)
Teach and be clear on the differences between wants and needs
Showing our kids the difference between needs and desires is so important.
It’ll help them build awareness of the world around them and teach empathy and compassion along the way. Demonstrating our needs first as a priority will help prepare our kids on how to budget and what’s most important overall.
Teach God’s word
Since I follow Christ, I think it’s crucial to help my kids read, learn, and interpret the Bible.
We believe it’s the infallible word of God. And if you’re Jesus girl too, then you know what I mean. Teaching our kids what He says, means so much more than what we could ever say or demand.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalms 9:1)
Teach about poverty
This one is one of my favorites.
I firmly believe that everyone should have the experience of serving others in surroundings other than their own.
Poverty-stricken surroundings, areas lost of hope, etc. Do you know what I mean? ‘Those’ neighborhoods…
Teach patience…Learn to wait!
Oh, this is a BIG one!
I never realized how much I was hurting our daughter by NOT teaching this…I was ignoring (not purposely) such a crucial area for growth. You see, before we had our second daughter, I never had a pressing reason to make my child “wait.” If she was hungry, bored, tired, frustrated-whatever it was, I tended to her needs immediately, because there honestly wasn’t a reason not too. But, oh, how awful this was! I quickly learned (as my husband pressed on about this) that she wasn’t developed in the ‘waiting patiently’ area (he was right…again! lol)
Parenting is a learning curve.
I truly believe as we raise up arrows, we are also cultivating a learning heart within ourselves. So take heart
What do YOU think? Share it in the comments below.