We have been sharing ideas on helping kids learn to be grateful each working day until Thanksgiving.
It is important to be grateful for the things done for you or given to you. It is equally as important to show your appreciation with an acknowledgment.
So where do we, as a society, go wrong? Why do our children embrace entitlement, thinking that they should automatically be handed everything without thought or any appreciation at all?
Children must be taught certain behaviors. By providing children with their every heart’s desire we have failed to provide them the proper attitude in which things should be received. Instead of appreciating what they have, children of all ages want – and expect -- the latest iPods, an American Girl doll with a full wardrobe, and cell phones.
In the long run, we should forget the laptops and cell phones and instead equip our children with the attitudes that will benefit them for a lifetime – and that includes gratitude.“Giving your child a sense of gratitude means she will be happier, healthier, and stronger now, and in the future,” says Doris Jeanette, Psy. D., from the Center of New Psychology in Philadelphia, adding that the best way to do this is to model the attitude yourself.
The best way is the basic – start by counting your blessings. If you start the day with vocal appreciation, the children will follow suit. “Each day, have them name at least one thing they are happy to have in their lives today,” she suggests. “They may say they are grateful for something we might think is silly, but to them it is important. Respect what they say.”
From that lesson, they will be more likely to feel gracious for gifts they have been given and kind words spoken to them, but, more importantly, they will understand how blessed they are to have life’s simplest pleasures – a home, food, clothing, and the love of family and friends.