We all want our children to be grateful for the things they have in life, rather than complaining about what they lack or comparing themselves negatively to others; however, gratitude is a habit that has to be nurtured rather than something we feel automatically. It’s a habit you can help your child develop though by encouraging them to identify the positives in any given situation and reflect regularly on the good things in their life. Here’s some more tips from a prep school near St Albans on exploring gratitude with your child.
Make it part of your family routine
Take the time to share with each other things you’re grateful for, perhaps by going round the table at dinnertime and reflecting on your day, or by listing three things you’re happy about that happened that day when it comes to bedtime. You could also buy your child a gratitude journal to write in every evening; this will get them into the habit of thinking about all the good things in their life and everything they have to be grateful for.
Show appreciation yourself
The best way to instil a sense of gratitude in your child is to model it yourself. Make sure you show appreciation for everything people do for you and ensure your child sees you thanking them; that also includes giving thanks to your child when they do something nice or surprise you. Encourage your child to show appreciation to others through small acts like writing their teacher a thank you card or making a gift for someone.
Try not to let your child see you complaining about things too much, or they might view it as a natural way to respond to frustrating or disappointing situations. Try to reframe challenging situations into positive learning opportunities, and get your child involved in finding the silver linings. This will help foster their ability to focus on the positives rather than the negatives in life.
Give them responsibility
By allowing your child to cook a meal for the family or do the washing up, and then showing your appreciation for it, you’ll teach them the value of helping others and how good it feels to receive appreciation for your efforts. They’ll also realise the hard work involved in certain tasks, making it more likely they’ll appreciate things others do for them in future.
As you can see, there are many ways to make gratitude a habit in your family life so that your child has a positive mindset and attitude when it comes to overcoming obstacles and recovering from setbacks.