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Being grateful is one of the best qualities a person can have. Every parent hopes that their child will grow up to be this way. When children are raised to be grateful, they become more thoughtful, empathetic and polite towards other people. Follow these useful tips to help your child become more grateful:
Be a Role Model
The greatest strategy for raising a grateful child is to lead by example. Children learn behaviors and habits by watching how their parents do things. They look up to their parents more than anybody else, especially when they’re young. If you demonstrate gratitude throughout your daily life, your children will grow up to do the same.
Modelling simple habits like saying, “thank-you,” whenever someone does something helpful is important. No matter how small the gesture is or who the person is, you should always show your appreciation to the people who help you. Your children will look at how you treat people and imitate these positive behaviors.
You can also demonstrate good social skills and manners by getting involved with playtime. When playing with your kids, use it as an opportunity to model politeness and respect. If your child is rude or disrespectful during a game, use it as a teachable moment.
Help the Less Fortunate
One of the best ways to gain gratitude is to give to those in need. When you help those less fortunate, it opens your eyes and makes you appreciate what you have. Look for opportunities in your community to give back, whether it’s volunteering at a children’s hospital or donating clothes to charity. You could make volunteering a regular weekend activity for the whole family. These meaningful experiences will teach your children to count their blessings.
Teach Children the Value of Hard Work
As a parent, it’s important that you allow your children to work for the things they want. If you buy your child a new toy whenever they ask for it, they may develop a sense of entitlement as they grow older. Because they didn’t have to earn it, they won’t feel as grateful for it.
Instead of just handing them that expensive new toy, get them to do a few extra chores first. By letting your children earn things, they will learn about the value of hard work. This will prepare them for the real world, when they grow up and have to earn their own money.
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Express Gratitude in Creative Ways
It feels good to go the extra mile for someone, especially when they’ve helped you in the past. You can teach your children how fun it is to give back by encouraging them to get creative with it. This could involve baking goodies, drawing a card, creating a handmade gift or writing a handwritten note. There are so many different ways to say thanks to someone, so let your kids use their imagination.
Always Look at the Positives
When you’re going through a tough time, the best thing you can do is look at the positive side of things. This is a great lesson to teach your kids from an early age. Whenever your child is feeling sad, encourage them to talk about what they’re thankful for. This will help put things into perspective. If you can teach your kids to have a positive attitude towards life, they will naturally become a more grateful person. They may be less likely to dwell on things, and feel thankful for the positives in life.
Raising your child to be grateful starts with your behavior and attitude. If you demonstrate a grateful attitude and emphasize the importance of helping others, your children will be on the right track.
Guest Author Harper Reid:
Harper truly believes that you should begin every year with an attitude of gratitude. This helps her create a positive mindset and makes her feel more fulfilled throughout the rest of the year. Find more of Harper’s published work on Tumblr.