Gratitude is thought to be one of the healthiest emotions a person can have. Being grateful for what you have is the kindest deed you can do, and valuing it is the highest kind of thought.
Teaching children to be ‘grateful’ is crucial because it goes beyond good manners to establish a sense of the gesture.
But it isn’t easy in today’s world. Our children have instant access to practically everything because we live in an instant world. We’re constantly bombarded with the message that we always need and deserve more. Everything happens at such a breakneck pace, and instant gratification has become the standard. But, in terms of thankfulness, what does that imply, and how does it affect our children? It basically means that they have more and more stuff, but they are less appreciative of them. It also means that making people happy or satisfied with what they have takes a lot more effort.
As a result, now, more than ever, we must devote our efforts to assisting our children in developing the abilities they will need to mature into well-adjusted, emotionally competent people. Gratitude is one of those fundamental qualities.
Instilling gratitude in children goes far beyond teaching them how to say ‘thank you’. When you teach your children gratitude, you are teaching them to appreciate what they have and to show generosity and empathy to others.
The more your child learns about gratitude, the more sensitive he/she is to other people’s feelings. He/she is more likely to feel empathy for others.
Nobody is born grateful. It is not natural for a child to recognize when someone goes out of their way for you – it is a skill that has to be acquired.
The benefits are many when children learn to express gratitude.
Children who are grateful exhibit more self-control and will generally be calm and peaceful. The ability to be sensitive to others and think from their perspective enables them to be more caring and understanding. Experts suggest that teaching thankfulness to children can help them grow into better people.
Donating clothes, food, toys, books, and other items to the less fortunate inspires them to be more charitable. Instilling these social skills in your children will give them an appreciation for the things they receive. As a result, he/she will naturally feel the need to reach out to the needy and help them in any way possible. By taking them to see these less privileged conditions, they will realize how fortunate they are and value things more.
Make it a practice to say ‘thank you’ for everything you’ve been given. Make it a regular habit for your child to assist him or she build a happy mind-set.
Give thank you notes:
Saying “thank you” out loud has a significant impact on what you have done for your child. This will make him feel even better about recognizing and appreciating your gesture of compassion. Write thank-you notes to everyone in the house to do this.
Thank those who serve you:
The majority of us tend to take the work of the domestic helpers for granted. Whether it is a waiter, a sweeper, a bus driver, or someone similar who is serving people regardless of their job. It is important that your children understand how to respect them and express gratitude.
Talk to them:
Request that your children make a list of a few things for which they are grateful that occurred during the day. Make time for one-on-one conversations.
Make Lists Everyday:
Ask your children to list a few things they are thankful for that happened during the day. This will help them focus and explore things that they have been taking for granted all this while.
Practice saying no:
Your children will constantly request/demand candies, toys, gadgets, and so on. It is difficult, but not impossible, to convince them that they should be grateful for what they already have and that there is no need to make an impulsive purchase.
Encourage your children to write thank-you letters to anyone who they believe has made a positive difference in their lives.
This includes professionals from a variety of fields, such as police officers, firefighters, school teachers, and hospital employees. Allow them to personally deliver the letters to the appropriate people whenever possible.
The Gratitude Jar:
When your child thinks of something for which they are grateful, have them write it down on a piece of paper and place it in the “Gratitude Jar.” When you empty the jar, have your child read the notes aloud. Gradually, your child will realise the value of it and begin to appreciate it.
Most of all, be patient!
You must understand that your child will not be able to implement this habit overnight. It could even take several years. Parents must be patient and assist their children in developing the habit of appreciation and gratitude.
As a result of cultivating a lifestyle that is grateful and appreciative at home and among your children, you contribute significantly to the future of our world.