I’m reading the Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan and loved the chapter on Raising Grateful Kids. Her stories about UN-grateful preteens and young adults who resented the sense of obligation that comes with “thanking” their parents made me think about how we approach gratitude with our kids. Do we demand that they be grateful for all we do for them?
Modeling appreciation is the best way to teach gratitude. How often does our family hear us express gratitude for our job or coworkers? For the checker at the grocery store? For access to safe, nutritious food? For the privilege of transportation to get where we need and want to go? When was the last time your kids heard YOU say thanks to their other parent for something that just gets done at home? Have your kids seen YOU handwrite a thank you note to a friend for taking time to have lunch together? or bringing in the garbage cans that blew down the street? Appreciating the small things keeps us from taking things for granted. Learn more ways to raise grateful kids in this video Teach your kids the gift of giving.
My granddaughter signs ‘Thank you’ to her Papa when he gets her a drink of water. My heart swells when I see her learn this simple act of gratitude. It starts early and extends throughout our life. I started using the Five Minute Gratitude Journal to keep me focused on looking on the bright side of life.
Thank someone this week for who they are, or what they did, or that they are in your life. . . and tell us what happened to YOUR heart. To their attitude. To the relationship.