The renowned psychologists like Freud, Piaget, Skinner, Erikson, and Bandura have put forth their theories on the psychological, brain, and social development. Health professionals believe that the development of children in the first five years of life is crucial.
During these years, the children learn, adopt, and later behave in ways that they will act for their entire life. When you teach healthy and adoptive habits to your children during these years, they go a long way.
Why Should You Teach Gratitude Manners to Your Kids?
Teaching your children acts of gr`atitude in the early years shapes their behavior and personality because, at this stage, they are like a clean slate. Therefore, all that they learn is from their parents, siblings, peers, and environment.
Here are several ways that you can adopt to teach your children about gratitude that will make them practice and utilize it as a habit.
1. Be Mindful of The Environment
Teach your child to say “thank you” for the simplest acts another person does for them daily. Help them understand the purpose and importance of saying kind and right words. When a family member or friend offers them something to eat, gift, praise, or even give a smile, make a habit of saying, “Thank you.”
Initially, children do not understand why they have to say so, and often they find it difficult to understand ‘when’ to be grateful.
To cater these, assist your child in being mindful and aware of the environment around. Help them recognize and identify things for which the child is to be grateful for. At the dinner table, make them grateful for having a family, shelter, and food to eat.
When your child starts to notice the things around, they think of the blessings and often question if they have to give something in return. It builds relationships and social bonding stronger.
Moreover, ask your child about the qualities of the present they received. The positive feelings attached to the present help the child show other people respect and gratitude.
2. Be the Positive Role Model
Social psychologists like Albert Bandura have theorized and performed activities (Bobo doll experiment) to highlight the significance of observation and modeling behavior. They imitate practices, actions, and even attitudes of their parents. Wonder why your child also supports the same football team you do? Or wants to dress up as you do?
As a couple, be grateful to one another, even if you think your child isn’t paying attention to your behaviors, they are. You can express gratitude with simple gifts, and writings to appreciate and acknowledge the good things in your day and life.
Your day might not have gone well, and you could be stressed, but take the help of your partner and share the accomplishments and blessings you have.
For instance, a rainy day might have ruined your new dress, but talking about gratitude quotes for kids shows that rain helps the flowers, fruits, and plants grow. These help us to breathe in a pollution-free healthy atmosphere.
Your children will start to extract the good and positive things from their surroundings to be grateful.
3. Family Gratitude Activities
Often you attach notes on the fridge of the ‘to-do list’ for children or your partner. For a change, make a family gratitude bullet board. You can add notes for the things that you and the kids are grateful for, and you can make these enjoyable by using colourful sticky notes, favourite stickers, and hand drawings.
It can help you strike a conversation among a family where you can talk in detail about the feelings and learned experiences from the gratitude act. You can keep them stored and then once a week, or after a month, you can reread them together to encourage a positive and grateful attitude in children.
4. Utilize the Kid’s Strength
When you talk to your children about their interests and observe them exploring their strengths, you can encourage them to utilize them to achieve their aim. It promotes feelings of gratitude in children, and they believe in themselves.
Gratitude keeps the flow of positive energy in children that assists them to have the power and motivation to take complicated steps in their life.
5. Kindness and Nurturing Relationships
Relationships are the core ingredient for grateful acts, and the addition of kindness and generosity makes them all connect. Encourage your children to help others and always lend a hand when someone needs them.
It will boost their self-esteem and self-worth, but they will also feel grateful to have an opportunity to use their strengths. It also makes them thoughtful, considerate, and cooperative towards others, and these positive emotions give rise to more gratitude expressions.
There is a need to lower the harsh and pessimistic attitudes and norms in society. The children are the upcoming leaders and builders, and they are the ones who will define our world in the future.
There is a dire need to harness gratitude in the society; especially in our diverse and digital future, it will catalyze the skills, motivations, and empowerment of a community. It is essential to cultivate and keep watering the seeds of gratitude in children, and soon it will bear us with delicious fruits.