Here are simple ways to include the demonstration of gratitude to your kids. As you go about your day, point out the fantastic events that occur around you that we most generally take for granted. There are plenty of opportunities to share appreciation for others we encounter in our daily activities, we need only be aware.
It is easiest to teach the correct words to use by demonstrating their use yourself. It’s never too early to show your child respect by saying ‘Thank you’, in turn teaching them to show respect. Children learn best through example, and teaching appreciation is no different than anything else in that regard.
Playing games with your children to demonstrate the virtue of appreciation can be an effective tool. Play the second chair and practice revealing to them how good it feels to receive an unexpected, “Thank You!” Polite game play is a good building block for acceptable behavior in other arenas.
Even basic things like holding a door open for another person, are little examples we can share with them of how others value polite actions. They will see how it puts a smile on a strangers face, and how it actually makes them feel good as well.You would marvel at how often an opportunity for an easy gesture like this can occur in your normal day activities, in locations like a supermarket, or doctors offices. Turn them into teaching moments!
A great way to encourage them to make lists of what they are grateful for is to utilize “The Daily Gratitude Journal Software.” There are two versions, one composed in “kid language” and showing an output with “kid fonts,” and an adult version. They will soon enjoy finding items for which they are grateful to add to their growing lists!
Just recently my family needed to contend with a loss of power for a full day. This failure, triggered by a wind storm, was a perfect chance to teach exactly what we had to be grateful for that we typically didn’t consider. Simple things like, lights, heat, and being able to see TV, were easy examples they could appreciate.
As in the power loss example, many of us would rule out heat and light as little things, they are things that are always available in our children’s worlds, so they are easy things that they typically do not take much notice of.
Additional examples could consist of having food on the table for every meal, buddies to have fun with, and having toys to play with and necessary school supplies. Sharing stories of developing nation’s children who go without these things is a method of teaching them gratitude for exactly what they have, too.
You can sometimes utilize a negative experience to teach them the worth of being grateful. A good example is the Walt Disney movie, “Polly Anna” where the main character played the “Glad” game and discovered lots of things to be grateful for in daily situations she experienced. Watching this movie, enjoying and conversing about it with them, would be an awesome quality-time family activity.
As you go about your day, point out the events going on behind the scenes that we all typically take for granted. Things like the police, who secure us, the firefighters who help those in need, and the checker at the grocery store doing her best to help us when we buy our food. Simple thank you comments to all that perform these daily services are the simplest ways to offer good examples of gratitude that they will emulate.
By minding your responses on a daily basis, you will be a fine example for your children and be able to teach your children gratitude effectively without becoming another ‘teacher.” You’ll soon find them exhibiting exactly the behavior you’re looking for with little difficulty.
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