Everyone loves that sweet, polite and grateful kid. It brings pure joy to us as parents knowing that our kids have the virtue of gratitude inculcated into them. This is because they will always see the world for only good things and will never take things for granted.
Which parent would not want to have a kid like that?
However, getting your child to be grateful is a tall order but it is possible especially if you start doing this at an early age. The behaviors these kids attain at an early age becomes hard to deviate from as they grow older and having them appreciate life and be grateful for everything would be a nice habit to have. Learn some tips you can use to assist your child to transform into this amazingly grateful kid.
Here is the thing though: it is never too late to learn how to raise a grateful child.
Yes, the younger the better, but all children are children, so no matter how old your child is it is a great time to start taking some steps to teach gratitude.
Below we gathered some routes you can take in how to raise a grateful child.
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Start a family tradition of saying grace
Does your family say grace every night? Now that nighttime dinners as a family are becoming rarer, sometimes the practice of saying grace is starting to disappear. If you do not have sitdown nightly dinners together, there are other times of the day that you can say grace. Maybe your family can pray together before everyone leaves in the morning. Maybe this will become a nightly ritual for you instead. Find one time a day to come together as a family to say grace.
How to Raise a Grateful Child Game
You should have a family tradition where everyone comes around to say what they are grateful for in their lives. Make this occasional, such as twice per year or per month if possible. Let the kids understand why it is important to be grateful all the time.
A fun way to do this is to cut up some random pieces of construction paper and put them in a bag. Make a “color code” of different categories in which someone could be grateful for (a family member, a place, a memory, etc.) Take turns going around the table and drawing a piece of paper from the bag then picking something in the category for which you are grateful.
By doing this, you are really looking deeper into how to raise a grateful child. It will show different places where your child is extremely grateful and places where they need improvement. From there, you can take the places where they need improvement and start inserting that into your life through teachable moments.
Lead by example
You cannot really expect your child to be grateful to others if words as ‘thank you’ are foreign to you. Whenever someone does something for you, always say thanks and ask your kids to do the same. It will soon teach them that it is important to appreciate the good deeds others do for you.
Most life lessons are “caught not taught”. This means if you are asking yourself how to raise a grateful child, it starts with making sure you are being overly gracious for everything. Children are going to watch how you interact in this world.
They are also going to watch how you interact with them. Make sure you are not demanding things from them all the time but instead asking with a please and a thank you. It will go a long way in your relationship with your child.
Donate to others
Donating to other people is a manifestation of your gratitude for what you have in your life. You do not take what you have for granted and that is why you want to share with others who are less fortunate. Let your kids do the same and donate the extra toys and clothes that they do not use or wear anymore. Someone somewhere will be very grateful to have them.
Also, explain this process to your children. Do some research on the place to which you are donating. Let your children be part of the research, and then decide together if that is a place that will be grateful for your donations. Sometimes you may be tempted just to quickly drop things off at the place you know, but you may discover local nonprofits this way.
Visit homeless and elderly people
Now and then take time off to visit the elderly and the homeless in society. Always carry some blankets, food or other forms of donations to them and bring your kid along. The kid will notice the difference your small act of kindness does to others and how grateful these people are. It will make the kids appreciate what they have more and be grateful for the same every day.
Visiting elderly people is great practice for a child. It is important for a child to know how to be around all generations. This will also teach them to treat their elders kindly.
Remind them they are blessed
Maybe they just see others suffering on the TV and they have never lacked for anything. It might be an alien thing for them to even fathom going without certain amenities in their life. Keep reminding them that they are blessed and that other people would give it all to be in their position.
If you are in a position to help others lessen their suffering, do so and let your child know about it. Bringing the reality that the suffering people are also humans and it could easily be them as well will make them feel grateful for everything they have in their lives.