Today, I’m concluding my two-part series on gratefulness.
In the first part of this series, we talked about five ways we can be more grateful as moms, and today we are talking about five ways we can help our kids to be more grateful.
So what are some tips for raising grateful kids?
1. Model thankfulness. When the server at the restaurant does a great job, write a thank you note on the receipt and let your kids see you do that. Or call the manager and thank them for the excellent service. When you go out of your way to show thankfulness, your kids learn just by watching.
2. Thank your kids. Get a whiteboard and write notes of thanks to them. Notes like, “Thank you for making your bed so nicely,” or, “Thank you for clearing your plate.” Words of thanks are always words of encouragement. (And a motivation to do the right thing next time too!)
3. Have your kids work for their privileges rather than just giving them what they want. If your son wants to download a new song on itunes, have him earn the money to do it first. Or if your daughter wants a new toy, set a goal for her to reach before you buy it for her (i.e. make your bed every day without being asked or something similar). Your kids will appreciate things more if they’ve had to wait for them, or work for them.
4. Teach your kids to serve others. Take them on volunteer projects with you. Help them clean out their toys to donate to children who don’t have any. Teach your kids to go out of their way for others, like pulling the neighbors weeds orbringing the newspaper off the driveway when they walk up to a friend’s house. The more they serve and give, the more thankful they will be.
5. Test it out. Try this exercise: Take a timer and set it for three minutes. Then tell your kids they can complain for three minutes solid. Tell them to focus on the negative and all the things they aren’t happy with. Then reset the time and do the opposite. Have them talk about ALL they are thankful for, and all that is good in their lives. Encourage them and share your own thankful list too. After the three minutes is up, talk about it: How did it feel to focus on the negative, and then how did it feel to focus on the positive and being thankful? (There is science behind an attitude of gratitude; studies have found that it really does make you feel better when you are thankful!)
What about you? Do you have any parenting tips on helping kids to be more grateful?
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