Gratitude! You probably have heard that word being thrown around a lot! Wikipedia’s meaning of Gratitude, refers to it as a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. However, in my circle of friends, including mamas, there seems to be a feeling of confusion about it. Especially when it comes to “how do we teach our children to be grateful in a materialistic-instant-gratification-kind-of world we live in?
It can be tough, I understand! One minute we are buying our children any toy they want, the next we might be yelling at them for wanting every toy they see! We want to give our children all that we may not have received, yet we want them to recognize how lucky they are for all that they do get!
Here’s a few actions our family has taken to help!
1. Volunteer for a non-profit organization: Each Christmas, we spend a whole day putting hampers together and wrapping presents for those in need. Last year, 500 hundred families were supported! The children get to practice from an early age (mine since 3) what it is like to give back and think of others
2. Periodically declutter toys & clothes: Get the children involved in choosing a group to donate unwanted items to. This again allows children to feel empowered in helping others whilst learning about the benefits of waste and recycling.
3. Saving for a desired object or experience: It is so tempting to buy that toy on sale or those new funky shoes your child really wants! It is easy to give in to a wailing child in a supermarket aisle wanting that treat! Think of the long-term gain in teaching your children about saving money for what they want! This had BIG impact in our household with my 4-year-old when saving for a Lego he wanted. Whilst out at target before his Lego purchase he fall in love with another toy! I said yes, he could buy it when he had the money but will then need to save longer for his Lego. He pondered and decided he didn’t need that toy, he wants the Lego more. And guess what? He appreciated it and looked after it so much more than the other toys he just received!
4. Give thanks at the dinner table: Have your children and the parents state one thing they were appreciative for I their day.
5. Tell your children you are grateful for them and for being their parent: Nothing is better than being the role model yourself!
Hope that helps, especially with the Christmas/Holidays season coming up!
Guess what? I have a gratitude workbook for adults just being released. Want to know more? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org