In today's world of endless technology and instant gratification, it can be hard for kids to understand how good they've actually got it. If you want your children to be grateful for what they have, follow these 6 tips:
1. Set the right example.
The "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy won't work here! Instead, you need to use the right words at the right time. For example, make it a point to say "thank you" when it's deserved. The more your kids see you appreciate what you have, the easier it'll be for them to learn to be the same way.
2. Turn the lesson into a game.
Your kids will be more likely to learn if they can have fun while they do it! So, don't just harp on them to say thank you for things. Instead, create a game where they can actually see how great it feels to be on the receiving end of an unexpected "thank you".
3. Get them to focus on the little things.
Someone who's truly grateful doesn't just feel blessed by the big things in their life. They appreciate everything they've got - big and small alike. If you want your kids to adopt this attitude, stress the importance of the little things. Fortunately, this is something you can do just about anywhere - like the grocery store or the doctor's office.
For example, encourage them to hold the door open for an elderly person. It's something that'll only take them a couple of seconds, but they'll get to see just how grateful the elderly person is. And, by lifting someone else's spirits, they'll get to experience all kinds of good feelings of their own!
4. Make a list.
When you get things down on paper, it's easier to remember them. So, have your kids make a list of everything they're thankful for. Want to make your list a little more high-tech? Head online and find a website, app, or software that's geared specifically for kids.
5. Teach them what it's like to go without.
I heard a story recently about a family who lost power during a storm. The electricity didn't turn back on for a full 24 hours - meaning the parents and their kids got to see what it's like to go without things like lights, heat, television, etc. By the time the power came back, they were incredibly thankful for these things - things they normally took for granted!
You don't need a bad storm to teach your kids a lesson like this though. Instead, show them pictures of kids in third-world countries who don't have the basics. When they see how much more they have, they'll be that much more grateful for it!
You can even turn gratitude into a family movie night. For example, Pollyanna was about a girl playing the "Glad" game - meaning she had to come up with reasons to be thankful for every situation she encountered. You can make some popcorn, curl up, and encourage your kids to act like Pollyanna!
6. Turn negatives into positives.
When you see police cars go screeching by, explain to your kids how important it is to have police officers to protect them. Or, when things get hectic at the grocery store, point out the clerk who's working hard to help you get your food. Then, encourage your kids to thank them. By the time all is said and done, you'll have turned stress into a positive learning experience!
Wallace D. Wattles wrote extensively on the subject of gratitude in his The Science of... series, which included The Science of Getting Rich, The Science of Being Well, and The Science of Being Great. Click or tap the links below to get your copy today.
Click or tap here to get Wallace D. Wattles' The Science of... series, The Science of Getting Rich, The Science of Being Well, and The Science of Being Great, along with eighty-one other rare books and articles by Wallace D. Wattles on Amazon Kindle.
No Kindle? No problem! Click or tap here to get a free Kindle reading app for your device.
Click or tap here to get Wallace D. Wattles' The Science of... series, The Science of Getting Rich, The Science of Being Well, and The Science of Being Great, along with nine other rare books and articles by Wallace D. Wattles in paperback on Amazon.