When exploring your child’s interests, what others in their friendship group and following the latest trends, we can often see our child becoming absorbed in their own worlds. We do live in a world where smartphones, games and toys reign supreme in a child’s world and it feels like we’re competing against each other at times. It should never be a competition, and children should learn about the importance of being grateful about what they already own.
In this guide from an international school in London, we take a look at the ways you can explore gratitude with your child and fight those urges in real time.
Something we should always be saying throughout our lives is the phrase “thank you”. It shows children that you know how to be courteous towards others, and you’re showing your child that they should be doing the same. For children, saying thank you regularly will show them when and where kindness is appreciated. When they receive a gift of some kind, or someone shows them something useful, you can encourage them to say thank you. Positive affirmations will reinforce what it means for your child to be grateful too.
A scrapbook or a collage will show your child of moments in the past and present that have shown them what gratitude means to you and the family. Stick things in your book and share with your child the great things you’ve all gotten up to in the past, like a fun day out you all had together or a picture of some of your child’s favourite things. Whatever you decide to add to these books, your child will get the chance to embrace gratitude in their own way.
Getting your child used to the idea of expressing gratitude will make them get used to the feeling of expressing kindness. Each day you can ask them about what made them feel happy on a given day – ask them if something good happened in school one day, or about an unexpected act of kindness that happened. A teacher may have given them lots of praise today for a good job done in a project, or they were given a gift by a friend at random. Practicing this with your kids often will make it feel almost natural to them and they’ll slowly learn about expressing gratitude often in their days.