For one reason or another, people can sometimes tend to forget being grateful towards other people. A little appreciation can go a long way, and according to Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, “gratitude reduces all stress, big and small.”
He adds, “When we experience resentments, we make ourselves envious, angry, bitter and annoyed again and again. We are weighed down in negativity, prevented from accessing gratitude and serenity.”
Gratitude is really important since it helps keep us positive in spite of any problems that we might face.
In order to help you and your family become more grateful people, we prepared an easy guide on how to teach your kid to be grateful.
1. Give your kids surprises
Surprise your kids with their favourite meal or a tub of their favourite ice cream! Giving them surprises every so often makes them feel that they are appreciated and loved. In turn, they’ll also learn to reciprocate that love towards you and everyone else around them.
Giving them little gifts and surprises when they least expect it really does make them feel more positive and much more grateful about the world.
2. Talk about what happened during the day
Another way you can teach your kid to be grateful is to share little things with your kids, like how your day went, what errands you did, what TV shows you watched while they were resting. You should also ask them to share about their activities throughout the day. Keeping communication between the family helps keep everyone closer and lets everyone understand how the other person feels.
Talk about even the little things, such as a funny joke you heard somewhere, or a fun memory you had of your family.
3. Focus on the positives, not the negatives
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When sharing, focus more on the positives, such as the things that you’re thankful for. If anyone in the family has a bad day, you should acknowledge it and let them understand that not all days are equally bad, and that things will always get better.
Focusing on the positives will make your children feel happier and thankful that they have such a loving and supportive family.
4. Share family stories, especially stories of when you were still a kid
Kids love hearing stories about their parents, especially during their youth. Not only does it let your children know more about you, but you can also share the struggles that you went through or any challenges that you overcame when you were young. Talking about those things will inspire your children to become better.
Talking about your childhood also makes your kids feel much closer to you since they’ll gain an insight into what you were like as a child since they’ve always known you as an adult.
5. Learn to say “Thank you”
People don’t say “Thank you” enough. Always make it a point to be thankful for everything, even the little things. Teach your kids to say thank you to janitors, security guards, waiters, store attendants and let them know that they should be grateful for the services that other people are providing.
You should also teach your children to always be polite and appreciative of everyone around them, especially people that they don’t know. Saying thank you can really change a person’s day.
6. Be an example to your kids
Have you ever stopped and thought about how many times you say thank you to people in a day? If you think that you don’t thank people enough, then you absolutely should! Thank your co-workers, thank your friends, thank your spouse, thank your kids. The best way to teach your kid to be grateful would be to live it yourself.
As a fun holiday activity, you and your family can try sending people thank you notes just to let them know that you appreciate them and that you’re grateful for them. You’ll have a newfound appreciation for life and you’ll start noticing all of the little things that you should be thankful for.
And hey, thank you for reading this article! Hopefully, it will help make you and your family much more grateful people!
Sources: huffingtonpost.com, healthychildren.org