In a child’s early years, there are many skills that we try to teach them to help them throughout their education and life. From tying their shoes to learning how to read, your child is learning a lot. There are some things, however, that parents may not really think about teaching their kiddos at a young age or even realize that they have to teach at all. Gratitude is one of those things. Every parent wants their child to learn and understand gratitude, but it is often something that we forget to actively teach our kiddos.
What better time to teach our children gratitude than right before the holiday season? At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we work hard to teach our students different life lessons that will help them grow into well-rounded adults. Gratitude is one thing your kiddo will begin to learn in our classrooms, but it is something that is better taught by parents, since you can reinforce it in a variety of different ways at home!
In this blog, we are going to talk about how you can start teaching your children gratitude! Read on and start following these tips during the holiday season to help your children learn how to be grateful for what they have.
Why It Matters
Before we jump into how you can start teaching your children gratitude, we want to talk about why it is important. Teaching your child gratitude at a young age allows them to grow up thankful for the things and people around them. They will understand that their life is a blessing and that, while not everything will go their way, there is a lot for them to be grateful for. Teaching your child gratitude at a young age has also been found to be linked to happiness. So, when you teach your kiddo gratitude, you can help them grow into a happier person!
Teaching your child gratitude around the holidays can be a challenge, but it is a great time to start! Kids want every toy they see, they want every treat they see, and they may not understand that they should be grateful for what they have. So, if you want to start teaching your child gratitude, now is the perfect time to start!
How To Teach Gratitude
There are several steps and tips you can follow in order to teach your kiddos gratitude, just remember it is important to make these habits a part of your regular routine and daily life. That is the best way to teach them gratitude at a young age.
Teach Them Manners
While this is a common thing to teach children, some parents fail to do so, which leads to children who believe they deserve everything they want. Teaching your child to say please and thank you is the perfect way to start teaching them gratitude. Teaching your child these simple and common manners teaches them that they are not entitled to anything and that they should appreciate everything that comes their way. You likely already are teaching your child this without even knowing it can help your kiddo grow into a more grateful person!
As we have mentioned in many blogs before, children learn a lot by watching their parents and copying their behaviors. When you show that you practice gratitude in your daily life, your child will notice and start to do the same. There are simple ways to show gratitude throughout your day. From noting how beautiful of a day it is to talking about how lucky you are to have such a good dog, these little instances of appreciation will teach your child to focus on the good things throughout their day and be thankful for them.
Make It a Part of Conversation
Dinner table talk is a great place to bring gratitude into the picture. During your family dinners, start asking one good thing that happened in their day or one thing they are thankful for. Not only will this force your kiddos to think about the good things that happened during the day but it also makes them begin to focus on things during their day. When they expect you to ask them this question at dinner, they may be more focused on things that they appreciate throughout their day, prepared to share at the table. This can shift their outlook on life and help them focus on the positive rather than the things that aren’t fair or upset them.
Show Your Child Gratitude
Showing your kiddo gratitude is another great way to teach them about it. When you tell your child that you appreciate them for whatever reason, you are not only showing them that they can make someone feel good but that people should be appreciated just as much as things. This is also a great way to reinforce good behaviors! Show your child gratitude by telling them that you appreciate them cleaning up their toys without asking. Let them know that these little things are things you appreciate and why. This can help them realize who and what they should be grateful for and not take for granted.
Provide Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness, whether it is volunteering or helping out a neighbor, can also teach your child about gratitude and how they can make someone else appreciative. When you help a neighbor, family member, or volunteer, talk about how what you are doing is so special to whoever you are helping. Talk about how the time they are giving is greatly appreciated. Helping others can teach kiddos about gratitude in a number of different ways. From helping people who may not have as much as your family to giving your time to someone who really appreciates it, your child will be able to start understanding gratitude a bit more. Plus, helping others can make sure your child feels good, which can make them grateful in a new way!
Learn To Say No
Kids love asking for what they want, which isn’t technically a bad thing, in fact, that is one great skill many people lose as they grow older. However, just because your kiddos ask, doesn’t mean you have to say yes. When you get your child anything and everything they ask for, they will have a harder time appreciating what they already have. When you say no, while there may be a small tantrum thrown, you teach your child that they don’t get everything they want and that they should be grateful for the things they already have. This can also teach them to be more appreciative in the moments that you do say yes, since it is more of a special treat than something they expect to get regularly. This is especially important to practice during the holiday season, since your children will be getting presents for the holiday, they shouldn’t expect to get anything they ask for beforehand as well.
There are many ways to teach your children gratitude. These are a few of the simpler things you can start doing to help your kiddo begin to learn to appreciate the things in their life and be grateful. At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we believe that gratitude is one of the most important things you can teach your child. Start working on this skill with your kiddos and contact our child care center today!