5 tips for raising grateful children
Teaching your children to be grateful for what they have might be one of life’s most important lessons, but it can be one of the hardest to teach.
More than ever, children today (and adults too) are inundated with product and lifestyle advertisements about the next best thing. Here are some ways that might help instill appreciation in your own family:
Teach them the value of money.
Some parents encourage their children to save up for their first bicycle; others pay for half of a big ticket item by matching their children’s savings as an incentive. It’s important that children understand the value of a dollar and how difficult and rewarding it can be to save up for something. When they are old enough, encourage them to get a summer job. If they are passionate about a sport or instrument, becoming a teacher, coach or camp leader can be a fun way to spend their summer while learning what it means to be responsible and earn a paycheque.
Get your family and friends on board.
Your family and close friends might be tempted to spoil your children with toys or money, but if your children become accustomed to receiving gifts, it can become a problem. Have these discussions early on, so there are no hard feelings or awkward moments. Your friends and family will understand that raising respectful and appreciative kids is your ultimate goal.
Be open about your own finances.
This can mean different things to different people, but it`s important to teach your children that the things you have as a family didn’t just magically appear. You have to save and budget, and despite how the Kardashians live, no one has an unlimited income.
Beyond please and thank you, children should be taught to consider gifts they receive and express appreciation. You might suggest that they pick one thing about the gift and comment on that: “I love the doll’s red dress,” or “I’ll wear this sweater when I’m cold.” Another way to teach gratitude is by modelling gratitude. Be openly appreciative of what you have and receive.
Tell them no, and tell them why.
Say no to trivial purchases and unnecessary items. Be firm and explain that your family doesn’t buy things for the sake of buying them. Buying your child the latest Xbox game or a new outfit before a school event doesn’t have to be something that happens every time a new game is released or something is happening at school. Getting something really special should be just that: special.
People with an appreciative outlook are often the happiest. As a family, you can practice the art of gratitude.
Leave a comment below and tell us what the most important lesson you learned from your parents is!
How to raise kids who believe in gender equality
How to Give Your Child a Lifelong Love of Language