In this age of instant gratification, toys, books, computer games or clothes are available to buy in just one click. Online orders are being delivered in less than 24 hours.
Kids can ‘get what they want’ in a matter of hours. Supermarket aisles are overflowing with their stocks of chocolates, fizzy drinks and crisps.
There is no dearth of shortages anywhere in terms of kids products. There is an ‘abundance’ of materialistic things from a kid’s point of view. How do parents in this age teach their children gratitude?
1. Say “Thank you”
No parent wants to see their child grow up into a mean, materialistic monster. Therefore, children should be taught to say thank you at a very early age. Parents are powerful role models for their children. If the child has put away all their toys then parents can thank them for making the room tidy. If the parent says thank you whenever required, the child will automatically learn to say thank you! It will be a good idea to create different ways for kids to say thank you- Example, writing a thank you note to Santa for the Christmas gift on a fancy paper!
2. Use a kindness jar
My son loves putting in little notes in his kindness jar every day, where he writes what he is grateful for or happy about, on that day He will do this until Christmas and then open the jar and read all the notes he has put in! Kindness jar is also a happiness jar! To make this activity more interesting ask your child to decorate the jar first with stickers or paint!
3. Practice charity and generosity
In return for Santa’s gift, I ask my kids to give away toys, books that they don’t use. I explain to them Santa Claus likes children who are generous and help the poor children.
4. Visit deprived areas
Every year when we go to India, we see a lot of poor children on the streets. On every occasion, I tell my children to thank God for everything he has given us. If children see how poor people live, only then they will be able to appreciate how much they have received from God.
5. Keep a gratitude journal
If you are struggling to teach your child gratitude, try the gratitude journal. Ask your child to write one thing every day which gave them happiness. Just like the kindness jar, they can read all their entries after a certain time.
6. Make an ‘I have’ list
Ask children to make a list of all those things that they have already got. I always ask my children to include, ‘I have loving parents’ on top of the list. This trick always works. They instantly feel that they are so lucky.
7. Strike a balance
Parents are always tempted to buy the best for their children. But I believe that parents should buy things within reason and in order of necessity. There should be a balance between accepting and not accepting children’s requests for toys/books/games. Parents should avoid buying luxurious and high-value items all the time.
8. Keep treats as treats
Chocolates, fizzy drinks and all sugary stuff should be given as treats rather than having it available for them all the time. This will make children appreciate these goodies Another benefit is that it encourages Healthy Eating in Kids.
9. Sharing is caring
I have noticed that when my kids share their toys they are more grateful for the toys that they have and also of each other.
Have you got any special ways to teach children gratitude? Please share via the comment box below.
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About the Author
Priya is a Mum to two beautiful kids and a wife to a lovely man. She has had no help from the family with the kids, except her hubby who helps whenever he can, being in a full-time job. Due to her circumstances, it became imperative for her to come up with strategies to make the difficult journey of parenting easier. Through her blog, How To Be A Positive Parent, she not only shares parenting tips but also blogging and affiliate marketing strategies to facilitate flexible working for Mums. Follow Prya on her Blog Facebook and Twitter.