There are many ways to help instill gratitude in your child. Here are three to help get you started:
1. The number one way to instill gratitude in your child is to model gratitude yourself. There are so many things you do during the day and people you interact with where you can model gratitude. Say thank you whenever you can to anyone you interact with, including your child. If you are frustrated with something, you can certainly state that, but then look for the positive within the situation. “I can’t believe how much laundry we have (😕)- but at least we will have clean clothes to wear (😉)!”
2. Talk about all the things involved in getting you from point A to point B. Let’s use “Dinner” as an example. In fact, we could get more specific and use “dinner rolls” as an example. Someone had to plant the wheat, nurture, grow, and then harvest it. Someone had to process it and pound it into flour (probably a machine). The same with the sugar with the and eggs (raise & feed the chickens) that you use to make bread. Someone had to shelve all of the ingredients at the store. A cashier had to ring up all the ingredients. Someone (probably you – the one reading this) had to drive to the store, purchase the ingredients, and bring them home. Oh – that leads us to the fact that someone had to make the bread. You get the picture. Talking about even some of these steps -and there are still many more – helps your child be more aware and appreciative and not take things completely for granted.
3. Write Thank-You notes. When our girls receive presents, they are not allowed to play with, wear, or spend ($$, gift cards) the gift until they have written a thank-you note. When they were little, they would draw a picture and/or dictate a message that I would write and then they would sign their name. As they got older, they wrote their own notes and some were quite creative!
Some children have difficulty with writing. It is perfectly fine for them to type a thank you note – and then sign it personally – at any age. We have received a few very heartfelt High School Graduation thank-you’s that have been typed and signed, definitely from the graduate, not written by their parents.
There you have it. Three relatively easy ways to instill gratitude in your child!
Speaking of Gratitude, have you checked out my Gratitude Coaching Special? Schedule in November, even if we don’t meet until December, to take advantage of this great deal!