Gratitude is one of the great human virtues. Someone who is thankful for all that has been bestowed upon him is never a selfish or jealous person by nature. The sense of gratitude and to be thankful is however not an inborn characteristic of humans and you need to develop it in your child. Teaching gratefulness to preschoolers is a great way to help them develop into humble and happy human beings in their lives. Here are some ways how to teach your children to be thankful.
Some guidelines on how to teach children to be thankful
1. Have them say ‘Grace’ before each meal
This does not necessarily have to be religious although it can well be addressed to God if you so wish for. But the art of learning to thank the fortune and the powers that bring your child food can enrich him for his future where he learns to appreciate his meals and the source it came for.
2. Give the reality check
Tell them about the poverty stricken state of so many parts of the world like African and some south Asian countries. Instead of living in a utopia it is better for your child to realize how very fortunate he is to be getting an easy access to food. Show them the state of these parts of the world on television if it is not feasible for you to take them there. Visions would be impactful.
3. Be grateful as the parents
While explaining thankfulness always remember that your kid picks up the most easily from you. They see you the most in their lives and what you do in your life has a profound impact on the little minds. So be thankful and grateful for all that you have. Frequently express your thoughts in front of your child. This would go a long way in helping you raise an appreciative kid.
4. Make them earn things
Let them have the first lesson on the cruel fact that nothing comes easy. As parents, start trying to make them earn the luxuries they seek. It could be their favorite toy or a delicacy they want to have. While we do not recommend that you go overboard with this and be extremely harsh, small things would be beneficial.
For instance make sure they can only eat their favorite desert after they have cleaned up their toys and neatly organized. Or make sure that they can watch their favorite cartoon only after they complete their homework.
5. Do not spoil them with too many things
It is easy to spoil your child with all that he asks for and even more. But this results in the terrible consequence that they don’t even love the things they possess anymore. So learn to restrict what you allow your kids up to the point where it suits their necessities. If you are teaching gratefulness to preschoolers, we cannot stress enough on the importance of this habit.
6. Teach them to serve others
You can have the practice of going for a meals-on-wheels drive every week. You will be serving the homeless and the poor and your kid will start picking up on the good habits. They would also get to see how tough and rough it is out there and how people are so vulnerable in comparison to the kid in terms of availability. This would go a long way if you are pondering over how to teach your children to be thankful.
7. Teach them the love for God
This one is not for the atheists. But for others you can always start teaching your kids how to appreciate what they have by first teaching them about what we are all grateful to which is God. By imbibing in him the fact that we are all extremely lucky to be living hale and hearty and that it is a grace of God, they soon start grasping the concepts easily.
8. Ensure that they don’t have all they want
That is precisely what life is about isn’t it? Not having certain things although we desperately want to have it. So every once in a while you try your hand in explaining thankfulness, ensure that your kid is deprived of a thing or two. You can hold it back for a certain time period and then bring it on. It teaches the kid the art of waiting or that he may have to wait in life too for what he wants.
9. Teach them generosity
If you see your kid is giving his or her favorite toy to a friend, praise the act profusely or maybe even reward him for that. The art of giving also ensures one knows the values of all that he has. Generosity is thus a very positive and important step towards gratitude.
10. Let them learn responsibility
This is a must if you are wondering how to teach your children to be thankful. Never bail them out from some responsibility that they have. They need to value their tasks and work and treat them as their own. Let them face the consequences for their decisions.
11. How to teach your children to be thankful from infancy
If you thought that the process of raising an appreciative kid starts when he or she is above three years of age, think again! Even your infant can pick up from certain behavior of you that you are grateful to have him. So when you can have some fun canoodling with your infant telling him or her how very lucky you consider yourself to have him in your life.
Explaining thankfulness to your young can go a long way in developing him/her as an individual. These are lessons that form the core of your kid’s nature and you can hardly afford to get this wrong. With our tips at your service you can safely eliminate the risks of teaching it wrong. We hope the implementation goes well and you can raise an appreciative kid.