Gratitude is what helps us to see the good in our lives, by appreciating the people, experiences, and material items that make us happy. It essentially encourages a positive mindset, which is great for helping children with their confidence and overall attitude. With that said, it’s important for parents to teach their children to be grateful, allowing them to become more resilient and manage their emotions. As a result, they will be more equipped to deal with any setbacks that are thrown their way throughout their lives. I have teamed up with a junior school in Buckingham to provide parents with some tips on exploring gratitude with their child.
As with most life lessons, it’s important to be a good role model. Show your child how to be grateful by demonstrating gratitude yourself. When you sit down for your evening meal as a family, share some of the things you are thankful for, even if it is as simple as a colleague making you a cup of tea. This will encourage your child to think about some of the things that they are thankful for too. You should also avoid complaining about things or demonstrating your frustrations in front of your child. If you do, the chances are they will end up doing the same.
When you see someone doing something nice for your child, ask them to think about how the kind action made them feel. Once they understand that the kind gesture made them feel happy or positive, you can then ask them how they can demonstrate gratitude. Could they do something kind in return or perhaps give the person a small gift or card to say thank you?
You probably do this naturally, but it’s important to encourage your child to say thank you on a regular basis. After Christmas or birthdays, encourage your child to write thank you notes to anyone who gave them a gift or attended their party. Praise your child when they remember to say thank you without being prompted first, as positive reinforcement will help encourage gratitude going forward.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started, as there are many more ways to explore gratitude with your child. For instance, you could start encouraging them to look for the silver lining when things don’t go to plan. Once you get started, it will be difficult to stop!