As you have read I am trying to live a more thoughtful life, one of the quality I am really embracing is that of being “Grateful” for all that we have big and small. As I am really making it a priority in my thinking, it overflows into a desire to encourage my son Tom to also be grateful too. As he gets older I notice him want more “What can I have?” “I want one of those….” “When are we going to have….?” So here are some ways I am trying to encourage Tom to have a “Grateful” heart.
Role-model One of the main ways we can encourage our children to be grateful is of course is being a role-model. Expressing gratitude through words, writing, and small gifts are all ways to teach children how to become grateful.
What am I grateful for today? At the end of the day I try and list 5 things that I grateful that day. I have started encouraging Tom to do the same. I have found it useful to say what I am grateful for first then I encourage him to think of two things too. Another idea that some people do is have a “Grateful jar” – when they are grateful for something they write it down and put it into the jar. Then from time to time they look at the all the wonderful things they have been thankful for.
Age appropriate tasks We try and get Tom involved in the household tasks so he can start taking responsibility and understand the part we can all play in our family. Tasks such as………clearing the table……. help put the shopping away…………. Watering the plants……… lucky at the moment he finds this very exciting……. I wonder how long that will last….!
Gifts We encourage Tom to remember how great it is to give gifts as well as receiving them (this is a tricky one, I know!). I try to include Tom in making, choosing and giving gifts to family and friends. I encourage Tom to share what he has, this maybe his toys or treats with friends or it maybe to give away toys he no longer plays with. During celebrations we try to focus on spending time with people, sharing food and family traditions rather than gifts.
One of my favourite picture books that includes being grateful is “Pass it on” by Sophie Henn- click here for more information.
Enouraging gratefulness is a work in progress in all of us, it is something we are continuously working at…….. it is important to us as a family….. so we try. How do you encourage children to be grateful? What qualities are you trying to develop in your children?
Thank you for reading xxx