With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start developing an attitude of gratitude within your kids. If you’ve been looking for ways to do that, good news: There are some specific things you can do to make sure your kids knows exactly what it means to give thanks this coming Turkey Day. Here are four tried and true ways to raise a grateful child:
Become a living, breathing model of contentment. Simply put, lacking contentment will often lead to a lack of gratitude. When you’re content, you appreciate where you are and what you have, instead of continually wanting more. Demonstrate for your kid what it means to be happy with what you have at the moment. The younger your kids are when you start teaching them this vital lesson, the better.
Emphasize just how important relationships are. A number of studies reveal the close connection between meaningful relationships and a heightened sense of gratitude. Social interacting with individuals whom you genuinely care for is inherently good for increasing one’s gratitude. You can teach this to your kids by showing them exactly what healthy, positive relationships look like, both with family members and close friends.
Stop any and all forms of complaining. Believe it or not, but constantly complaining about every day events like lousy weather or brutally congested traffic just might be your worst habit. When we complain about these rather meaningless life events, we’re showing our kids how to complain about and become angry over the silliest things possible. Complaining is a toxic habit that can stunt a grateful approach to life, so do your best to remain mindful of what you say and when you say it.
Teach kids to reframe the negative situations they encounter. One of my favorite sayings is an old Norwegian phrase that goes, “There’s no bad weather, only poor clothing”. This is the perfect quote to give you and your kids an enhanced sense of perspective. Teaching gratitude to your kids will help them grow a more positive attitude towards life. They will also learn to thrive in difficult life situations. Help them learn how to do this by searching for the silver linings in even the worst situations.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Growing a grateful child is not an easy task, but you can do it. The four strategies described above will ensure that this Thanksgiving is a time of genuine gratitude, as well as the start of a truly content and happy future for you and your kids.