Best Tips on How to Teach your Children about Gratitude

July 15, 2021

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Best Tips on How to Teach your children about Gratitude

Has life got you down lately?

Do you notice your children fussing, complaining, and worrying?

Are anxious thoughts crowding your mind?

When you look into the precious faces of your little ones, do you realize they are imitating your attitude of desolation and despair?

During these times of difficulty, gratitude is a life-saver.

Gratitude brings hope and growth. It’s more than just saying “thank you.”

Replacing desolation and dryness, gratitude reminds you of the true meaning of life.

According to scientific research, gratitude is one of the best ways to boost your mental health and physical well-being.

This is what Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude wrote, “it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.”

This article discusses studies that seem to suggest that gratitude is good for your health.

Gratitude boosts happiness and reduces anxiety.

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It may improve your cardiovascular health, lower depression, and decrease infections.

Taking an active role in helping your children learn to be grateful is one of the best things you can do as a parent.

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Discover here, how to pray specifically and expectantly for your children’s faith, character, safety, relationships, and future.

It will not only improve your children’s outlook, but yours as well.

Here are some of my best practical tips on how to teach your children about gratitude.

Tip #1 on How to Teach A Child About Gratitude = Gratitude Jar

A gratitude jar is probably the most fun, down to earth and artistic way to teach your child about gratitude.

Do you ever feel like your kids’ childhood is slipping through your fingers like sand on the seashore?

Day after day of endless monotony makes you feel like the years will never end.

At the same time, you notice that your little baby is growing up all too soon.

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Time is going much more quickly than you expected.

Are you truly taking the time to savor the moments?

A gratitude jar can help you keep track of the small moments of joy and gratefulness.

This is how it works.

Every time you notice a reason for thankfulness, write it down on a small slip of paper and put it in the jar.

Teach your children to do the same.

Are they thankful for their new puppy?

Help them write about it, put a date on the paper, and put it in the jar.

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Did the sun come out after several days of rain? This is a reason to be grateful.

Maybe they found a lost action figure they had lost.

Or maybe they did exceptionally well on an exam, they thought was hard.

Any reason, big or small, is a cause for thanksgiving.

Cut a piece of paper into strips and place it by the gratitude jar.

Keep a pen or marker handy so that kids can fill them out whenever gratefulness strikes.

If your kids can’t write, have them dictate their blessings to you.

From time to time, empty the gratitude jar.

Review the things God has done for you.

Take time to thank Him all over again!

Tip #2 On How to Teach A Child About Gratitude = Daily Thankful Prayers

Make a point of thanking the Lord for specific blessings every day.

This will lift your spirits and help you focus on the good!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Choose a letter of the alphabet.

Today, thank him for blessings starting with alphabet A. Tomorrow, thank him for blessings starting with B! And so on!

2. Try to thank him for three things each day, without repeating what you said yesterday.

3. Challenge your kids’ memories with questions like;

Who can remember the most blessings from past days’ thanksgiving prayers?

Can you list a blessing from yesterday or last week?

When you focus on gratefulness in prayer, your heart will be lifted.

Your children will be encouraged. Your outlook will improve!

#3 Tip = Gratitude Journal

Take your gratefulness to the next level with a gratitude journal.

After you have prayed, write down your reasons for thanksgiving.

Have your kids name three things they are thankful for every day.

Keeping a written record holds you accountable to verbalize your gratefulness every day.

You can look back on it later and review the ways that God has provided for you in the past.

When life seems bleak and hopeless, you can remember the generous gifts of God.

How do you get started with a gratitude journal?

First, you must find a book to write in.

You can use a fancy gratitude journal like this one, or you can make your own.

This Gratitude Journal with stickers provides a fun incentive to look for the good every week of the year.

The stickers help motivate kids and adults alike to find the good things in life.

If you enjoy DIY, a simple composition notebook will do the trick.

Better yet, buy a blank white book and have your children decorate the cover.

This gratitude journal will be a keepsake that you can use for years to come.

Tip #4 on How To Teach A Child About Gratitude = Say Thank You

Gratitude enhances and builds relationships.

Even the youngest of children can learn to say, “Thank you.”

With their chubby little hands, they can form the sign language words that express gratitude.

These two words, “thank you,” are the first words parents often teach their kids.

Energetic and zealous, parents demand that their children give thanks for any gift received or service offered.

Often, children end up expressing gratitude by rote.

Other times, their words are insincere.

Gratitude does not produce all the scientific benefits unless it is heartfelt.

How can we make sure that our children are not saying these words by rote?

How can we ensure their words are meaningful and genuine?

The author of the book, Nonviolent Communication, shares tips about expressing effective gratitude towards others.

In his article, he shares three steps to effective gratitude:

1. Observations.

Teach your children to make observations about what their friend or relative did for them. Like,

A. Mom tied my shoes.

B. Grandma bought me a present.

C. Dad brought me a hamburger after work.

Even if your child didn’t like the gift itself, she can express gratefulness for the motive behind it. “Thank you, Grandma, for taking the time to go shopping and buying me a gift.”

Teach your child to express gratitude in full sentences.

2. Feelings – Teach your kids to describe their feelings about their friend or relative’s kind action or gift.

A. “Mom, when you tied my shoes, I felt relieved…”

B. “Grandma, when you bought me a present, I felt loved…”

C. “Dad, when you brought me a hamburger, I felt happy…”

3. Need – Finally, help your kids express the need that that their friend or relative met.

A. “Mom, when you tied my shoes, I felt relieved because I wanted to go outside and play.”

B. “Grandma, when you bought me a present, I felt loved because I knew you were thinking about me.”

C. “Dad, when you brought me a hamburger, I felt happy because I was hungry and you remember my favorite types of burgers.”

In summary, an effective gratitude statement includes the action that was performed, the feeling that was produced, and the need that was met.

This formula helps avoid rote gratitude.

It also helps you avoid saying “thank you” as a way to manipulate someone.

Think how good you would feel if someone used this formula on you!

“When you stopped by to ask if I needed something (Observation), I felt happy (Feeling) because I had been very lonely and anxious today. (Need)”

Tip #5 on How To Teach A Child About Gratitude = Thank You Notes

teach children about gratitude

Writing thank you note may seem like an ancient, outdated practice.

In reality, it is a wonderful habit to teach t today’s generation of kids.

If you are quarantined or shut inside during winter, now is an excellent time to start developing this skill in children.

Children can rediscover the joy of letter-writing.

Ask your children to name one person who has influenced and encouraged them.

Maybe it’s someone whom they have missed during the pandemic.

Have them write a letter expressing gratitude to this teacher, friend, or classmate.

Now is the time to teach children about envelopes, stamps, and postage.

Kids can learn how to address an envelope and write a return address.

They can practice their skills of letter heading, greeting, body of the letter, and closing.

Are you willing to send a thank-you note to someone you’ve never met?

Then you are willing to take your gratitude journey to the next level!

Why not share the gratitude with someone who’s discouraged?

The organization “More Love Letters” devotes itself to inspiring people to write handwritten letters to people who are going through tough times.

Go on the website and help your children select a discouraged individual to write to.

Looking back in your gratitude journal, you’ll be able to see how God has provided for you in a very difficult time.

Then share the good news with someone else!

The “More Love Letters” website always shares about the kind and sacrificial acts that the discouraged individual has performed.

He or she is having a tough time remembering his own goodness right now.

Express gratitude to that person for the kindness, sacrifice, and hope they have shared with others.

Be grateful, even though you’ve never met them!

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Have you ever felt dry, hopeless, and desolate, like a parched, dry lawn? You may also like

The discouragements of life blow over you like a hot wind.

Your sources of inspiration have dried up.

Uncertainty and change erode what was left of your courage and hope.

If this is you, take heart.

Gratitude can also refresh your soul, comfort your spirit, and increase your focus.

Your children can watch you grow and thrive as you learn to apply these principles.

As they imitate your gratitude, they will be blessed.

How do you express gratitude? Please share some of your ideas in the comments below.

As always, I’m sending lots of love and blessings your way today……..

 

 

 

 

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By Joann