We do our best to teach our kids how to be good people, but sometimes as adults, we come off as cynical. We don’t realize, but our words and ways of thinking have a drastic impact on our kids, especially during difficult times like the world is experiencing these days. It’s easy to complain and whine about the current state of affairs, but in doing so, we can get stuck in that type of mentality. To help your kids learn and benefit more from the attitude of gratitude, you can help them to look at their situations from a point of appreciation rather than from a deficit. Here are some easy ways to help foster that attitude of gratitude at home:
Always say please and thank you.
This is a simple way to start working on the attitude of gratitude. By making it a habit to always say please or thank you, you teach your kids about mutual respect and common decency. This will help them later on in life, as they can then express their gratitude more freely, and help them form stronger bonds in the rest of their relationships.
Send out thank you cards.
Though an old-fashioned gesture, having your child send out thank you cards after a birthday party or a playdate will help them to see the value in taking the time out of their day to convey their gratitude to others. You can make it fun by letting them create or pick out the thank you cards, and have them write a little note on each one. They’ll carry this practice into adulthood, and will encourage them to appreciate their relationships that much more when they take the time to put it into action.
Practice sharing things you’re grateful for as a family.
Dinnertime is a great way to practice the attitude of gratitude. If you already pray as a family, take the time to have each person say what they’re thankful for. And for those who don’t pray, you can still have a family talk about what things you’re grateful for from the day.
Everyone likes compliments, so verbalizing when you like someone’s new haircut or when they’ve done something worth noting is a win-win! Not only are you helping to brighten someone’s day, but you’re showing your kids that it’s okay to let others know when you appreciate them.
Always try to mention the positive in the situation.
There are always bad days, but it’s best not to get bogged down when you have them. A simple way to teach your kids to stay positive is to look at the silver lining in every situation. For example, if you’ve had a bad day at work, instead of continuing to complain about it after you’ve vented, take a second and step back. You’re home now, and the day is over. Now you can relax and let the worry and stress from the day melt away! Showing your kids that it’s okay to vent and then turn the situation around into a positive will help further entrench the attitude of gratitude in their minds in normal day-to-day interactions.
If you’d like to really show the children in your life about gratitude, we have an idea for you! Donate your unused car to help someone recover from a natural disaster. To begin, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to donate a vehicle that runs, or send an email to email@example.com to donate a vehicle that does not.
When we give of ourselves, it doesn’t matter how old we are. We can all learn a thing or two about living a life of gratitude.