Gratitude is a mindset; it goes well beyond the good manners you have worked to instill upon your kids. Teaching the kids to say please and thank you are easy compared to teaching a kid to be grateful, but it isn’t impossible and today we will discuss 6 tips to instill gratitude within your kids to make this process run smoothly and produce grateful kids.
First, let’s discuss why gratitude is important; it has been shown that people of all ages who are grateful tend to be happier. Those people are happier; tend to do well in life as well as with others in social settings. Part of why gratitude is important is because it keeps you humble, I’m pretty sure you don’t want your kid running around acting as if everything is handed to them, right? Gratitude is important because it improves relationships, gives perspective and just overall makes you a person people want to be around, kids included.
How can you instill gratitude within your kids?
- Lead by Example – the first way to raise grateful kids is to set the example. Each day openly discuss topics that make you feel gratitude. If your child helped with a chore and did so without complaint? Tell them you are grateful for that. Be the example, you are your kids’ first leader.
- Don’t Spoil Kids – this is hard sometimes; as parents tend to want more for their kids than they had in their youth, resist spoiling your kids. Instead give limits and financial boundaries to teach them to be more grateful when they do get something awesome.
- Thank You Notes – not only do you need to have thank you notes on hand to give out, but have your kids write thank you notes after every gift given to them or kind gesture. You could even have your kids make their own thank you notes to instill gratitude deeper.
- Encourage Giving Back – have your kids do age appropriate tasks for the neighborhood, such as mowing lawns, raking leaves, etc. just as an act of kindness as opposed to completing tasks for money.
- Teach Respect – respect is a starting point for gratitude, when your kids have a high level of respect for themselves and others around them, they will naturally start to exhibit the skill of gratitude on their own.
- Glass Half Full – kids and adults alike have days where they gripe and whine about the mishaps in life, be the example by turning their gripes into a glass half full perspective. Each time you twist their perspective into a positive one, it starts to instill gratitude.
Instilling gratitude within your kids is simply a part of the life lessons a parent is responsible for. Being a parent is more than just handing out orders, making sure school work is completed and kids are on their best behavior, it’s about molding your kids to be good citizens when they reach adulthood. It can be about raising grateful kids.