As a parent, one of the most important things you can teach your children is gratitude.
Teaching them to say thank you and show appreciation for the things they receive will go a long way in their lives.
Teaching their toddlers how to say thank you is an easy first step that will instill good habits early on. Teaching them about the value of working hard and performing acts of kindness are also great ways to start teaching gratitude at an early age. Gratitude truly is a life-long gift a parent can pass to their daughter.
What is gratitude?
Put simply, gratitude is the feeling that you are thankful for what you receive.
This can be a difficult concept, particularly for young children who don't yet fully understand concepts about other people's work/needs/wants.
Toddlers don't understand about the effort required to produce anything for them.
Gratitude is one of those soft, abstract skills a child needs to pick up when growing up.
Teaching gratitude is often not consciously focused upon by parents, let's face it, we're so busy with all of the active skills such like drawing, writing, potty training, teaching our kids to express gratitude can take a bit of a back-seat.
Teaching kids gratitude (not just an automatic "thank you" response) is tough, but not impossible. It just takes a bit of extra work in helping your child understand what goes into providing for them.
Saying thank you
In fact, teaching toddlers how to say thank you is one of the easiest ways to begin to instil gratitude in your children.
Though it's important to make them understand just why we say thank you to truly express appreciation.
Simply by adding in a reason why when you're reminding your child to say thanks, parents can remind their children that a loved one is helping them out.
Say thank you to grandma for this lovely meal she's made you. Say thank you to daddy for helping you tie your shoes.
Reminding your child just what someone has done for them is a great way to express and instill gratitude.
In addition, teaching our daughters that certain actions are more valuable than just saying thank you can help with expressing gratitude too.
Showing appreciation for what someone does tends to mean a lot more in most cases compared to simply saying it.
Writing thank you notes (or for toddlers, drawing thank you pictures), giving small gifts, etc. is a great way to get a child excited about saying a meaningful thank you to someone they care about.
Working around the house - show gratitude to mum!
Teaching them about the value of working hard and performing acts of kindness are also great ways to start teaching gratitude at an early age.
Teaching your children to do daily chores at a young age is both practical and helps instill important values.
Teaching them about the value of work from an early age will encourage good habits down the road.
It will also help a child understand some of the work that a parent or caregiver puts in when making their special meal, or keeping their environment safe and comfortable.
A traditional mother's role, in particular, does not receive enough gratitude. Domestic chores tend to be overlooked by the family as of course, "everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help mum with the washing up."
We love bonding with our young kids over a spot of cleaning or cooking. It's such a fun way to share an otherwise tedious chore. We also encourage trying to get your daughter involved in less-traditional domestic chores.
Cleaning the car on a summer's day, holding the ladder when changing lightbulbs, gardening.
There are so many day-to-day activities that a parent can use to demonstrate to their children how busy it can be to be a parent (plus it's a great way make chores a bit more fun for us parents too).
Practice gratitude with acts of kindness
Teaching children to perform acts of kindness can be a great way to teach them about gratitude.
Teaching kids to commit random acts of kindness will get them out of their comfort zone and help them learn the value of giving back.
Teaching your daughter how to do things like picking up trash or donating old clothes will show her that she has the power to make an impact on the world around her, no matter how small it may seem.
Teaching your child about empathy is also important when teaching gratitude because they'll understand why performing these simple tasks are so important.
Acts of kindness are one way to teach them the value of giving. Teaching your daughter at a young age that it's important to be kind, and to consider others' feelings will not only make her more pleasant in the world, but also encourage her creativity and empathy.
Keep a family gratitude journal
Gratitude journals are a great way to help children learn the value of giving thanks and to keep track of what's important to them.
Teaching them to write down what they're grateful for each night will show your child how important it is to make a list of the things in life that bring joy, and happiness.
Teaching them about gratitude with a journal can help kids understand just what all goes into making our lives so special - from family members, friends, to their favorite toys or books.
Keeping perspective on things
Finally, teaching them about perspective can help get rid of feelings that might be misconstrued as negative or ungrateful during hard times.
Teaching our children to see both sides helps them understand when something bad happens it isn't always because someone has done something wrong/bad.
For example, if they don't get into their number one school choice - talk through with your child just WHY this happened and what other choices are available.
Teaching them not every setback needs to be seen negatively (or is even negative at all).
Raising Grateful Children
Teaching a child about gratitude is important because it can help grateful kids become more grateful adults.
Better mastering their emotions and having more meaningful relationships - vital for well being later in life.
Teaching your child to perform acts of kindness and teaching perspective are also great ways for you to teach them the importance of being thankful.
Teaching children that certain actions or chores mean more than just saying thank you will get them excited about giving back in their own way, no matter how small it may seem.
Teaching children at an early age these principles will equip them with good habits and values that they'll carry on into adulthood, which has lasting effects on themselves and others around them.