A Handful of Gratitude & How to Teach It to Our Kids

Be measured by what you do: A strong conviction (basically walk the talk). For example, let your kids see you thanking mum for a great home cooked meal. For kids, watching parents show kindness and gratitude to one another really does illustrate to them how true, loving relationships function.

Etiquette: Please let me express that you can never ever over-do verbally expressing gratitude, so as we learn from repetition. Be sure to prompt our kids in thanking for that gift, or thanking their friends for coming to play and having fun, or even thanking them for going with them to the cinema — and expressing how their company was great fun!

Thoughtfulness: Thinking of others will always be received well. It shows we have the capacity to be less self-absorbed, which certainly is a wonderful trait! Don’t be shy on sending thank you cards, a little email note, a video, Skype, or even a text. Be descriptive about your appreciation, as there’s nothing worse then entitlement. It’s always the thought that counts…..

Mindfulness: It never hurts to remind ourselves and our children how truly lucky we are. And how, even in our worst times, we can create a rainbow. Mentioning “Wow, how truly lucky are we today because we are doing this or going here or…” are you get the drift? 🙂

Awareness: Talking, reading, sharing news of other children, families, cultures, and how others live make our children think, ask questions and become curious. There’s much truth in being fortunate in the way we live compared to others; let us think more about that. Everybody remembers the times when we are reminded of others less fortunate.

Random Acts: Of kindness, willingness to do errands, and being a part of the family should always be acknowledged with hugs and that “just because” extra kiss. It builds positive co-operation and more acts of the same; it shows charity for others, whether that’s parting with some toys yearly, dropping off outgrown clothes to other families, or even being part of a bigger event.

Nature: An appreciation for our environment starts at a young age on those early morning walks, strolls in the park, experiencing the trees, birds, flowers, and nature around us — there’s a lot for us to be thankful for! Spend time explaining that if it wasn’t for the bees, there’d be no flowers, etc etc. Trust me, I still wake up and truly smell the roses in my garden.

Around the world we see so many families and people come together for one common purpose: to celebrate in giving thanks. Around Christmas time now imagine if that spirit truly was active everyday. Be kind; be nice. It costs us nothing to be this way. It allows us to become more conscious as parents in raising and guiding our children.

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