Isn’t it amazing how children gain happiness from every day moments? The little things they go through in life bring the biggest smiles on their little faces. The astonishing thing is many parents find it difficult to teach kids gratitude. Children by nature are impulsive and they constantly learn, change and new idea seem to pop up by every minute. Kids are exposed to advertisements and new adventures until another exciting thing come along.
Portraying gratitude every minute everyday is not part of what kids do. It’s not that they don’t show appreciation of what they have or who they are but it’s that they are always learning, processing and digesting information. It’s our job as parents to teach kids gratitude and to be more thankful for what they have. As a parent, you need to capitalize on small moments and assist your kids to stay grounded. It’s your responsibility to model the gratitude that you want your kids to show each day. Nagging won’t do the magic, this will just send them running.
So, what should you do? How do you teach kids gratitude? Well, here are some simple places to start…
Happiness Jar: When children get bored, feel like they don’t have what they really need in life or frustrated, it will be useful to stop and think what they do have. What you need to instill some gratitude in them is to look for a large jar and some index cards. When they kids are come, ask them to name things that make them feel happy. Write down each happy statement on each index card and place them in a large glass jar.
Then, place the jar in a place and reach in and pick a happy statement when life for them feels overwhelming. Always talk to about things that make them happy such as walking on the beach, chasing butterflies or playing cars. Most of the time, kids need a gentle reminder and for that they can learn to be thankful.
Moments Scrap Photo Book: We love taking pictures of our day-to-day lives each day. Flipping through memorable pictures at the end of the day with your kids is a great way to make them feel grateful for what they have. Give your kid a camera or an iPhone for them to take photos of what they make them happy each day. Compile these photos into a simple scrap photo book so that they can always look back and feel grateful.
Make them Collect Coins: We all know that kids love coins. They love to collect them, hoard them, play with them, throw them in fountains and even fill their secret banks with them.
Creating a special coin jar for them for them to put their coins every other day is a great idea. Once the jar is full, discuss about local charities where they can donate their coins. Always explain where the money goes and how it will help other people. Children always take pride in helping others.
Choose a Stick: Do your kids constantly look for something to do despite having interesting books to read or toys to play with? Come up with a list of family fun activities, games and toys that your children have at their disposal. Use extra craft sticks by writing one activity on the end of each stick.
Flip the stick and ask your kid to pick one. Flip the stick at the back over to see what activity the family will be doing next. At times, a simple game to make things fun reminds kids about wonderful things around them and make them more gratitude.
Three Amazing Good Things: To decompress and check in with your kids always do so during bedtime. It’s also the perfect time to teach kids gratitude. Ask your kids to identify three good things in their life before they go to sleep.
Keep a journal by their bed so that you can write them down and revisit them the following day.Most likely, you will find mommy & daddy, toys, friends and family on the list. Making them verbalize amazing good things to show them that it feels good to go to sleep feeling happy and thankful.