This is a guest post by Tracey Clayton.
A simple “Thank You” goes a long way. Although thankfulness is not an inborn trait, it is important that children acquire it. Gratitude is one of the most important ways of recognizing kindness in social circumstance. By teaching children to adopt and express thankfulness, they will add value to themselves. Once kids realize the universal importance of thankfulness, they will become kinder and better people.
Thankfulness to Follow
Children learn through observation. The best way to inspire thankfulness in children is by being thankful yourself. Show gratitude whenever possible. Being thankful in everyday life can inspire kids to follow your example. It will create a thankful environment in which they develop. By expressing gratitude to neighbors and family members kids will do the same. It is also important to reward kids with by saying thanks. It will boost their self-confidence, and show that you respect them. They will learn to that acts of recognition go a long way in social communication. And by being a role model parent, kids will adopt thankfulness as their own personality trait.
Thankfulness is the super hero of emotions. No wonder, exposing kids to super heroes can spark gratitude in them. Soldiers, doctors, activists, fictional characters, can all serve as great role models. These selfless and courageous men and women, can be an inspiration to kids. In this way, they will regard thankfulness as a positive, heroic virtue. On top of that, influential heroes can instill kids with the need to help others. A great way to practice this directly is through a party. Kids can dress up as both fictional heroes, soldiers and doctors, and help people in need (albeit through role-play). The party will make for great fun, and a successful exercise in thankfulness.
Teach children to display thankfulness through deeds. This is best achieved through chores. They will learn how every good deed needs one in return. So, when you make dinner, they can help by washing the dishes. Also, by helping around the house they will do something beneficial for everyone. They will realize that they sometimes have to go above their own needs to express gratitude. And in being thankful through action, they will learn that respect has to be earned.
Thankfulness in Helping Others
Kids can sometimes take for granted what you have provided for them. Therefore, helping less fortunate than themselves can initiate thankfulness. They will have more respect for what they have, and learn to be more generous to their fellow-man. Encourage your kids to donate their old toys and clothes. Explain how their old things may be useful to other children, and bring them joy. Also, you can take them to a charity where they can provide aid first hand. They will become more understanding, generous, and thankful, and include it into their personality.
Thankfulness in a Card
Encourage your kids to write thank you cards. Be it gifts during the holidays or for birthdays, it is a great way to teach your kids the value of thankfulness. It will teach them that every kind deed needs recognition. Kids will have a chance to get creative in expressing their gratitude. They will also show the gift giver they have earned their present. And going the extra mile when conveying thankfulness, is a gift all by itself.
A “Thank You” Before Bed
The time before bed time is the perfect opportunity for kids to express thankfulness. Tuck in your kids, and then talk about daily events. Display thankfulness by talking about what you are grateful for. Highlighting core values will show your child what to focus on. In doing so, your child will follow by example, and be thankful for important things.
In the end, it is important to remember that thankfulness doesn’t come naturally to kids. It has to be learned and practiced over time. Giving thankfulness center stage will help kids realize its importance in everyday life. They will become better people, and contributing individuals in the future.
About the guest author:
Tracey Clayton is a full-time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and planning awesome parties with Army and Spy Parties experts. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.