• Fostering Thankfulness in Your Children

  • As a child, being thankful for what you have can be a hard thing to do. Many children don’t recognize the importance and benefits of the things around them. Like we all did as children, their focus may be the new toy and/or game they want. This Thanksgiving season is a perfect opportunity for teaching kids to be content and happy with what they have.

    As adults, we understand the worthiness of being thankful. Thankfulness for the things we already have makes life more enjoyable and gives us motivation to live the best way possible in order to keep those things around us. Contentedness brings a more positive outlook. This reality is why it is never too early to teach your child to be thankful. When your children are grateful in how they look at their circumstances, they become happier and more appreciative.

    Here are four ways to foster gratitude in children and create an atmosphere of thankfulness.

    1. Teach them to be thankful for the people around them.

    Toys and games are not the only thing a child can be thankful for. Tell your children that the people in their life care for them, support them, and are grateful for them. This atmosphere will create a sense of belonging and help your child appreciate the people around them whether it’s their grandparents, siblings, parents, or teachers. They will have a feeling of gratitude for the ones in their own lives.

    1. Have your child say what they are thankful for.

    Ask your child what he or she is thankful for. Start out by saying what you are thankful for. When your child hears your examples, they will come up with ideas for which to be grateful. This expression of gratitude cultivates a positive environment. Create a bedtime ritual where you and your child talk about what you are thankful for from your day. You will soon move from listing physical items to people, events, or character qualities.

    1. Highlight the positives.

    Exhibiting and teaching a positive attitude towards life sets a good example for your children. Always strive to find the positives in life so your child will do the same. Recognizing the up side encourages thankfulness. When your child focuses on the good things, he or she will feel content with their circumstances, no matter what they are. Teaching your kid to find the positives of life will make them more appreciative of what they have.

    1. Don’t let your child complain.

    The complete opposite of a thankful attitude is a complaining attitude. Complaining only focuses on the negatives and wants. Tell your child not to complain for a certain amount of time and reward their good behavior with positive praise or something fun. When your child learns that complaining is not rewarding, they will realize gratitude is better.

    With Thanksgiving rolling in soon, gratitude is an easy virtue to talk about. Thankfulness brings many benefits for people and is a valuable character quality every child should learn. Being content with what you have is the key to happiness.