Let Your Kids Catch Your Gratitude
We don't always get what we want in life.
In a world that is rife with the entitlement mentality, having an attitude of gratitude takes a conscious effort. Even when things don't go the way we would have wished them to, we can still maintain a grateful attitude.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior -Habakkuk 3:17-19
In teaching kids to be grateful, we need to model it to them. Kids will catch on more easily when they see how grateful we are for the 'little things' that others take for granted.
For instance when your kids have seen how you value the gift of being alive, then they learn not to take this precious gift for granted.
How can we ensure that our kids cherish and value the gifts that come their way amidst the pervasive selfishness around us?
- Don't give them too many things at a time. In this era of so many gadgets available for children, a lot of us are guilty of always trying to outshine the next person with our latest gadget. When we allow our children to have more than they need, those things begin to lose their value and they tend to take the gifts for granted.
- Let your children ask for things before you hand it over to them. What ever is desired becomes valuable when it is received. If we make a habit of giving our children stuff they didn't ask for, except of course on occasion, they won't see the need for appreciation
- Tie certain benefits to performance, for instance in their school work or good behavior. This will help a child to learn to cherish those things more. For instance, when we have open day at my children's school, they usually get a treat when they have done well in their school work. I tell them repeatedly that the treat is tied to their performance so they learn not to take it for granted.
Gratitude doesn't come naturally to children, it needs to be taught. Children who have been taught gratitude are those ones who are not selfishly focused on only the needs that concern them, but they have come to appreciate everyone in their own little world who make things happen. Children who haven't been taught gratitude however grow up into believing that the world revolves around them, but it doesn't.
Let them Catch Your Gratitude.
Update: I read a post by Lindsey M. Bell on Modeling Gratitude for your kids and it resonates very powerfully with this post here. You can also check it out and if you can lay your hands on the book she reviewed, kindly let me know. I also will like a copy (e book format preferably). Thank you!