Everyone likes to be appreciated. EVERYONE! One of the many jobs of parenting, is to teach your children about gratitude. The world doesn’t owe them a thing. And it really isn’t that hard to do. But if it’s not programmed in them … it isn’t gonna come out of them. (Ya’ll have seen those type of children) Even the smallest child can learn and show gratitude. Take a peek at a few ideas below.
- STOP GIVING THEM SO MUCH! Keeping thing in perspective, more and more children are living a lie. How is it that we are in a recession, but so many of our children are carrying smart phones and Heavily branded shoes. I tell my children all of the time, “You are entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I also tell them “I refuse to dress up an empty box.” When you reward your child(ren) for earning “Perks” (which includes volunteering, grades, character) you are teaching them more than just gratitude.I roll my eyes at some of the things my husband do to save money, but in hind sight the end justify his actions. (Did you see the grill on the featured image. We are still using that same grill. Sure our food takes longer to cook, but when my son get’s his own home and family, his wife is gonna thank us for the raising a grateful guy!)
- BE A MODEL! You already know how kids mimic EVERYTHING we do. Make an
effort to super grateful in-front of your kids. Growing up people would always say to me…. why do you have such a frown on your face?” I really didn’t intend to look that way because I was a happy child. At some point I changed it. Last year, one of my private tutoring students asked in the middle of a lesson, “why do you smile all of the time?” “I don’t know, I guess because I’m happy.Don’t your mom smile at home?” I replied. Her response to that blew me away….. She said she does, but only when she’s taking a picture!…. (Talk about too Much Information – right?)
- SAY Thank you!
My mother In Law is amazed by the things technology can do. So for her birthday, we had the children make a video birthday card. To prepare, I had each of them write down 2 things they loved most about her. We then talked about their list collectively and the older ones all realized how thoughtful of a grandma she is. When we began to record, they were speaking more from their hearts and less from the list. Not only was their grandma over joyed, the kids gained more gratitude for good family members that care about them ,and they all felt warm inside by sharing goodwill. Because of this family video below, I have learned a new appreciation for all dentist, big brothers floss.
- Thank them with food.
Nothing says thanks to me like food. I just associate so much pleasure to eating, that I automatically think good things about a person who gives me food – Guys, I know I am not alone on this Find out what their favorite type of food is and attach a nice little note telling them why it is being given to them. I like to give vegan treats from Cassie’s Sweetz!
Bonus: to really make this fun you can tell them thank you in 26 different languages.
One of my most memorable lessons in having a grateful perspective came from a salmon slicer at Zabar’s in New York City. I asked how he’d been, and his response stopped me in my tracks.
“Blessed,” he said. “I go home to a warm bed. There’s food on my table. I have running water and I can take a hot shower. I am blessed.”
How powerful is that?! Just imagine how different life would be if we all adopted this attitude and passed it on to our children as well.
Your Mom Coach, Kelle