When it comes to life lessons, there are multiple things and behaviours we want our kids to practice. For many parents, Gratitude is a major part of that list since as we grow up the ability to be thankful somehow gets buried deep inside our personalities which lead to times when even a Thanks seem awkward to some people.
Coming to the kids, there are some very simple things that we can do to teach our kids how to be thankful for what they have and what they receive in their lives.
Reflection Creates Habit
Whatever it may be that you are teaching your kids the first step is to adopt the same in your personality and lifestyle. Teaching gratitude is no exception. As a parent, you need to start practicing gratitude first as well. It includes all incidents and things that you can be thankful for.
Remember to say Thanks each time someone did even the smallest task for you and whether you are religious or not, do practice being thankful for whatever you have achieved in your life. Doing so will help your children understand how practicing gratitude keeps you grounded. After all, they reflect you in most cases.
As a daily or weekly task for them, you can gift your children a gratitude diary which has the core purpose of recording the incidents where they were grateful for. As kids, we always like to stay in-lead for almost everything even when we are competing with ourselves. Recording all the incidents they are thankful for will, 1. Showcase all the different scenarios where one can be thankful 2. Will give them a personal reminder of how well they are or could be doing in practicing gratitude.
Now comes the parents’ part, you have to assign them 4-5 tasks for each day where they can be grateful for something or make someone else practice gratitude. This will create a healthy team-building atmosphere around the house. Don’t forget to review the diary regularly until gratitude becomes a habit.
Talking about Gratitude
Another tactic parent can use is to ask their kids for a list of things that they are grateful for at the moment. Just like American thanksgiving tradition in many families, this is a common way of bringing people closer to each other with the way of gratitude. It can be dinner time or sleep time talk.
Another version of it is parents asking their children, at the end of the day, “How was today Special?”. If not anything else, this is a great opportunity to build family memories and connections together.
Combining it with etiquette & manners
The first ladder of practicing gratitude is saying “thank you” whenever someone does something for you. That’s why you need to mix lessons of gratitude and its benefits along with the times you discuss etiquettes with your children. However, you might think about it, it’s way easier than you might think.
For example, as you teach them dining etiquettes you simply have to include how they need to thank the person serving or the person who cooked. Also, do ensure to point out that praising the cook is a form of gratitude as well. These bits of connections and point-out eventually ends in gratitude becoming a part of a person’s personality as they grow up.
Gratitude comes in different shapes and sizes. From a grand gesture to make someone feel special or just a regular thanks for people being nice to you. What really matters is that we learn it early to develop an attitude of positivity as we grow up and gratitude is the way.