Wednesday November 15, 2017
As parents, the list of things you teach your children is endless--from walking and talking, to reading and writing, to attitudes and behaviors, the list is endless.
You are molding your child and helping them grow into happy, successful adults. With the increase of negative messages throughout the news and at our fingertips with social media, it’s even more important to teach children about compassion and gratitude. These values will help them grow to become kind and moral adults.
Studies have shown that kids who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and family. Expressing gratitude helps children and adults to build stronger, more positive and more genuine relationships. People who regularly express gratitude are more likely to be compassionate and forgiving of others, and live healthier and happier lives. Who doesn’t want that for their children?
Here are some great ways to encourage compassion and gratitude with your children.
- Have a moment of thanks each day. This may look like a conversation over dinner, or on the way to an after school activity. This daily tradition can help develop a positive frame of mind. Keep in mind that even small things, like a new toy or receiving a piece of mail is something to be grateful for. Older kids might even prefer to keep a gratitude journal and write down a few things they were thankful for each day before going to bed.
- “It’s better to give than to receive.” This saying has stuck around for a reason - it really does feel great to help someone else out. Depending on their ages, kids can do little tasks for elderly neighbors or at a local food bank. You can even make community service a family activity. When kids give their time and energy to help others, they’re less likely to take things like health, home and family for granted.
- Be a role model. If we wish for our children to become more caring and empathetic we must first model this behavior in our own lives. When engaging with other people, we must try our best to be honest, compassionate and fair. By ensuring that we ‘practice what we preach’, we maximize the likelihood that our children will adopt this moral attitude and behavior and practice it in their own lives.
How you choose to teach and practice gratitude and compassion is entirely up to you. What’s important is to find a way that fits with your family. Implementing these practices will help you raise children who appreciate what they have, show responsibility, have a healthy perspective on material possessions, are generous, and think about the needs of others.