Developing An Attitude of Gratitude
Teaching our Kids to be Thankful
Thanksgiving at my home is a time for my family to consciously recognize all the great things going on in our lives. Too often, people find themselves caught up spending way too much time and energy focusing on the misfortunes and things we think we ought to have.
Sometimes I forget that my kids are always on alert --watching and learning. Has this ever happened to you? You and your spouse or friend are in your kitchen after having a bad day, and you start to complain about a certain situation and you glance over and noticed your little kiddo has been listening. When this happens to me, I find myself analyzing the situation in my head and putting perspective around the situation so I can explain it in simple terms to them. And then I realize it really is about perspective -- someone always has it worse and often times, the stuff I was complaining about really wasn't even worth the energy!
So, how do we teach our kids to be thankful for all they have?
Here are five ideas to help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude:
- Lead by Example: If you want your kids to develop into thriving, thankful adults, you need to model the behavior. Thank them often, point out others using their manners, and always walk the walk, talk the talk.
- Talk about all the great things in your lives: Make it a regular dinner conversation, acknowledge great things often, and encourage your kids to notice events and situations that make them feel happy.
- Teach your kids to seek out help: Developing relationships is a big part of enjoying a wonderful life. No one here does it alone and encouraging our kids to seek out help when they need it, is a big step in learning that we are all connected in some way.
- Instill a work ethic: If we don't encourage our kids to work hard for what they want, their adults lives will inevitably be harder than necesary. No one is handed anything. Kids that go around with a sense of entitlement will have to learn the hard way that life doesn't work that way. Teaching our kids that there are bigger benefits to be had when they earn their own rewards will pay off in the long run.
- Find the joy in everyday life: We all have moments or things in our lives that happen each and every day that can help bring perspective to our hectic lives. One of my favorite things to do is to sit outside on my deck on a cool spring day with my eyes closed and enjoy the cool breeze against my skin, the sunshine and the sounds around me. It is really hard to find the time to do that because of how crazy busy my family is, but when I can - it brings me pure joy and relaxation. And for that I am thankful.
Being able to share my experience and do my part to help transfrom the way kids learn is something I am thankful for each and every day. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in our community.