How to teach your children GRATITUDE!

posted Nov 16, 2016, 8:20 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Nov 16, 2016, 8:20 PM ]
If we expect our children to be grateful, we need to do so too!  That means generously handing out sincere thanks - to everyone, from the grocery store clerk to the barista at the coffee stand.  When your children learn how gratitude works, and how nice it is to hear, they will be more likely to follow the example you set!  Here are some tips to help...
1.  Make do with less.  Sometimes our kids take life for granted.  Pick something to "do without" for a week or a month.  Try eliminating take-out meals, television, or walk or bike instead of drive.  These inconveniences may not always be comfortable, but they'll help everyone appreciate how good their life is!
2.  Develop a silver-lining mindset.  Children need to know that even when they face difficulties, they still have it pretty good.  Next time you hear a complaint, turn the grumble into gratitude by modeling how to find the silver linings in difficult situations.  If you have to wait in a long line, say "At least we were able to get what we needed."
3.  Schedule service.  Establish a family goal for one or two service events per month throughout the year, not just at holiday time.  
4.  Give thanks - out loud!  Show your appreciation for others and make it a habit of showing random acts of gratitude for those who serve you.
5.  Be routinely grateful.  Research shows that people who are grateful are the happiest!  Take time to say out loud three things you are thankful for.  Make a gratitude jar and fill it with notes about who and what you appreciate.  A little gratitude will go a long way!