How To Teach Your Children Gratitude
Many parents tend to place greater emphasis on academic achievements over character development. I have friends and relatives with children who do very well in school, highly competitive and assertive. Unfortunately many of them lack the heart of gratitude for what they have and receive.
Gratitude is a quality that is often undervalued. However it is one quality that will help one to have a better chance to do well in career and in life. When our children become too competitive and results-oriented, they tend to be self-centered and less considerate for others.
Qualities like gratitude, appreciation and contentment make us gracious. They also help us to be at ease with ourselves and the people around us. Without gratitude, we become complacent and often do not appreciate the blessing we receive from nature and other people. We tend to take many good things in life for granted, including the kindness from people who love us.
By teaching our children gratitude, they learn to appreciate the things they have and the people who care about them. They will become more understanding and will treat others with greater respect. All these are necessary for one to win more friends and build better relationship with people.
People with gratitude then to be more caring and they usually have a kind heart. They are also happier and more appreciative. In addition, they are more grateful to their parents and truly understand the virtue of filial piety.
Children learn best by observing their parents and their care givers. Hence it is important that parents set good examples to their children consistently in their daily life.
Here are some of things that we do with our own children. You may like to practice them with your family:
Make it a habit to say always thank you to others where they do something nice for you. For example, thanks a stranger who gives up the seats to you when traveling on the bus or train, thanks the sales person who serve you in the store.
Act responsibly and do something good for others. For example, help a needy person to cross the street.
Tell your children how grateful and proud you are of your children for the good things they do for you. For example, I always say thanks to my elder child whenever she helps to take care of our younger one.
Get your children to draw a thank you card for their teacher or a get-well card for their friends who are ill.
Always remind your child to call home if they need to come home late. When we reach home from my parents' place after visiting them, I always get my child to call their grandparents to inform them that we have reached home safe and sound. (our parents love the kids very much)
Cultivate a Grateful Spirit
When we show appreciation and gratitude to others, they usually reciprocate with similar gesture. However at time, that may not happen instantly. Hence we need too teach our children that they do not necessary see the results of their efforts that they have put it immediately. Explain that it is normal to wait before they can see the fruits of their labor and that rewards are sweeter if they wait and work for it.
Children who grow up in an appreciative and kind environment are more likely to become responsible and appreciative adults. They are also happier, reconciled and contented and at peace with themselves and others.
About the Author
Article by Alvin Poh, founder of Learning Champ, a parenting wesbite that provides information and resources to parents, who want to help their children develop the important skills and mind set for a brighter future -> http://www.learningchamp.com