Instilling gratitude in your kids is a wonderful gift. Just by understanding how lucky they are will help your children feel happier and healthier in the long run. Not only are they able to appreciate what they have, but are able to form great relationships by being able to express sincerity and thankfulness. It’s a powerful way of thinking and the sooner it’s taught to your children, the sooner they’ll be able to reap the benefits. Here’s some ways you can start teaching your child gratitude right now.
Why is gratitude so important?
Gratitude is healthy for us, especially for your children. In fact, a study conducted at the University of California found those that express gratitude regularly can increase happiness levels by around 25% and generally live more satisfied lives. Other studies have revealed that kids who practice grateful thinking have improved manners and a more positive attitude towards school and family.
Teaching gratitude to your children is easy – it just means building a few new basic habits. Here’s a few ways to get started.
Be grateful everyday
It’s important that gratitude is practiced every day, especially if you want it to be a normal way of thinking for your child. Each day, encourage your kids to write down or tell you a few things they’re grateful for and why. Make this reflection a regular part of your daily routine as a family. You could even include it whilst you’re all eating dinner or on the school run.
Look for teachable moments
The key in getting your kids to practice and understand gratitude is to keep your eyes peeled for teachable moments. This can be anything where you can explain why gratitude is used or why it’s a great time for them to be grateful. When kids connect to a real-life situation, the lesson you’re teaching is much more likely to stick.
Set the example
If you want your kids to practice gratitude, it’s crucial that you set an excellent example. Make sure you’re gracious when accepting gifts and take part in daily gratitude too. It’s also important to remind your children that you’re grateful for them, which will help them understand how great it feels to be appreciated.
Practice saying ‘no’
It’s normal to want to spoil your kids and give them everything they want. However, showering them with too much stuff actually does more harm than good. It can mean gifts lose their value and they never seem to be satisfied with what they’ve got. Practicing saying ‘no’ will do the world of good and make your child start to appreciate everything they have and anything they receive in the future.
Learning to give
Encourage your kids to give generously to friends, family and those less fortunate than themselves. You can do this by getting them involved in some local volunteering, asking them to donate their unwanted toys,or think of a way to raise money for a charity of their choice. Through learning to give to people that might not have a lot, it helps kids realise how fortunate they really are. In fact, the act of giving is often so rewarding that it leaves a powerful impression on children, inspiring them practice gratitude regularly without being prompted.