One of the most important things that we can do as parents is to teach our children to be grateful…
for the little things.
for their family.
for their health.
for their freedom of choice.
In a society where more is better, sometimes more is just more. We need to show our children that gratitude is a choice they get to make every day.
Here are 5 laws that I hope you will keep in your parenting strategies toolbox.
Raising Grateful Kids
The Law of Thanks – Teach your children to say thank you when things are given to them – even little things like a glass of milk or granola bar. Model saying thank you TO your children when they do things for you.
The Law of Giving – Talk to your child about how it feels to give something to someone. Have them help in the gifting process – choosing, wrapping and giving. Then talk to them about how they felt when they saw the person open a gift they knew they’d like.
Part of this law is also volunteering in your community. My kids LOVE to do Meal on Wheels and now that they’re in school, the people I deliver to are not so excited to see just me. They ask about the kids and it gives them something to look forward to.
The Law of Time – Spend time as a family. Show your children that you are grateful for them with your actions. Our lives are so busy that sometimes we forget that it’s the little things that matter. Have fun with your children and teach them to be grateful for the people in their lives.
The Law of Reflection – Teach your children to reflect on their day and share their successes and failures. We play a game sometimes in the car on the way home from school I call Best/Worst. My kids are still a little young (the best is usually lunch or recess), but the idea is teach them to share their highs and lows and to be grateful for each. Ask them if they learned anything from their mistakes – and most importantly that it’s ok to make mistakes.
The Law of Choice – This is one of my favorites. Teach your children that they have a choice. They have a choice in their actions. They have a choice in their reactions too. They can choose to be a victim or they can choose to turn lemons into lemonade.
I can’t say that I am 100% on top of this all the time, but I try to keep these parenting strategies at the top of my mind. When I catch myself pushing the kids off to finish a post or the dishes, these come to mind and I wonder in that moment if I’m modeling gratitude – and that usually helps me decide my next action.
Children’s Books on Gratitude:
- The Blessings Jar: A Story About Being Thankful
- It’s Great to Be Grateful: A Kid’s Guide to Being Thankful
- My First Gratitude Journal: A Write-In Draw-In Gratitude Journal for Kids
How do you teach your kids about gratitude?