Simple Ways to Raise Grateful Children
• Model Gratefulness to Raise Grateful Children
You are your children’s most important role model. Therefore, using grateful language and positive reinforcement is a great way to raise grateful children. For example, you can say “The playroom looks great with all your toys put away. I’m so happy you cleaned up!” after your child cleans their room.
• Say Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome.
Use these words for both small and big things. In fact, you can never overdo it – it will make a difference. Have them become an important part of your family’s language so that your child will use them automatically.
• Share Appreciation Daily.
During family dinners, talk about their day. Be specific with your questions and show your child the same attention you would an adult speaker. For instance, ask the kids “what’s something good that happened today?” For the Thanksgiving season ask, “What’s something nice you did for someone? Or, what’s something nice someone did for you?”
• Encourage “Eye Contact” Thank You’s during Gift-Giving Holidays.
Kids love presents! They open them very quickly. During these times, encourage them to personally “thank” the gift giver. This should include making eye contact. They should also say the name of the person they are thanking.
• Make Thank You Notes or Cards.
It’s nice for children to make “thank you” notes for gifts received during special occasions. For little kids, parents can write for them and kids can color the card. As they get older, they will continue this as they make their own thank you notes.
• Volunteer or Do a Charity Project.
We have a lot of opportunities to help the needy. Therefore, it’s important to make sure to involve the children in service projects. For example, you can encourage your child to participate in non-perishable food drives. After, you can use this opportunity to discuss why people need Thanksgiving food and other items.
• Set Shopping Expectations.
Parents should tell their children, “Today, we are getting a present for your friend’s birthday at the toy store. If you see something you want, you can write it on your birthday/holiday list.”
• Be Patient, Consistent & Persistent.
Children are solid thinkers, but gratitude is a character trait that takes time to develop. With some patience and persistence, you’ll be able to raise grateful children.