Over the years, a reoccurring theme of posts here on Be The Difference have been about teaching children character and modeling it as a parent or caregiver. I was happy to have Anna Rebchu, a sociology teacher and volunteer, submit a Guest Post on teaching our children to be appreciative. This summer we will go back to the theme of Kindness again as we empower children to pay-it-forward with The Summer Kindness Contest. 🙂 Maria
Being grateful is something that all children should be taught at an early age. Children who are thankful and happy don’t only make us proud parents but also fulfilled in the sense that they’re on the right track to becoming great adults. In a scientific study, it was revealed that kids who know how to be grateful, even for the littlest of things, are less likely to be influenced by bad people and illegal activities when they grow older.
We now live in a world where everything can be obtained easily. As a result, a lot of kids forget how to be thankful for the things they have. If you’re a parent who is trying to look for ways on how to make your kids more appreciative for the environment that they are surrounded by, here are some tips for you.
Let them recount their blessings at the end of the day
At bedtime, instead of simply wishing your child goodnight, ask them to remember the good things that happened to them during the day. Let them count their blessings and explain to them that they’re lucky to have the means and resources that have been afforded to them. After all, not every kid living on this planet is lucky to even eat 3 meals a day, with non-profits like Unakids being testament to the fact that there are many underprivileged children in the world. Remind your children that they should be thankful for even the littlest of things so that they will be able to look on the bright side even if events don’t go exactly go as they’ve planned.
Teach them how to care by donating and volunteering
Perhaps there’s no better way to teach your kid to be grateful than explaining to them the purpose of why children’s charities exist. As previously mentioned, not all children are lucky enough to enjoy even the basic necessities in life, let alone experience the joy of being a kid. Giving back doesn’t only feel good and healthy but it is a lesson that our kids will learn if we show it to them first-hand. If you don’t have money or clothes to spare, you can always volunteer at your local soup kitchen or school. Donating and volunteering will, at some point, make your children think that they’re lucky to be the ones giving out their resources and time, and not the ones on the receiving end.
Make them work hard for the things they want to buy for themselves
We never truly realize the importance of hard work until we become adults and have children of our own. The earlier kids comprehend the importance of working hard for the things they want, the better. Don’t just give them whatever they want at anytime or they will grow up spoiled. Make them do some light chores or things that children can do before rewarding them with toys or anything else they truly desire. If you make them work for the things they want, not only will they be grateful to you for the reward but they will also feel fulfilled for accomplishing a task that you’ve entrusted them with.