With Christmas coming, who can’t think about gifts? For our children (and kids at heart😉), this indeed is the the most magical time of the year!

Gifts during the holidays can sure be a great thing but most of us overlook showing gratitude on the things we have everyday. This year alone has been a very challenging one to everyone. Not only us parents/adults needed to make adjustments but our children as well, no matter if they like it or not.

I’m sure one of the first things you’ve been teaching your children aside from ABC’s and 123’s are the different emotions. Happy, Sad and Angry are the most common ones.

Do you know that gratitude is an emotion as well? Have you tried teaching your children about gratitude? If not, see the benefits in practicing it and I’m sure you’ll be convinced teach them too.

Gratitude is an emotion that’s worth cultivating in our children when growing up. Not only would they grow-up as happy children but healthy as well. By simple starting with your child by thinking of five things in your day today that you’re grateful for can make a difference.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Less aggression as gratitude reduces volatile emotions. Who doesn’t want less tantrums?
  • Sleep better. Well rested children tend to have better mood throughout the day.
  • Healthier. Stress doesn’t only apply for adults. That being said, children who are less stressed out results to fewer physical problems.
  • Reduced depression. Sadly, nowadays, this is very rampant. The good thing though is as parents, we can instil in our kids good habits such as knowing how to cope with stress to ensure they don’t fall as victim to this.
  • Deepen social ties. One of a parents proudest moment is knowing that their child grow up as a good person who knows how to tend to others as well. Knowing how to motivate others can improve relationships at any age group.
  • High level of happiness and optimism. Everyone wants to be around a person who’s happy and optimistic in life. Life itself have too much stress and to surround yourself with the wrong people isn’t the best option.
  • Appreciating small things in life that most people neglect to notice. Understanding that small things matters also reduces focus on materialism and instead be content with things that matters the most.
  • Seeing the meaning of life. Nothing beats waking up every morning knowing your purpose. By having the correct mindset, children would always try to be on the right path in life and make better decisions in any aspect of life.

Now that we know the benefits of it, how can you apply it on a daily basis?

Here are some scenarios which you can do with your child:

MORNINGS

  • Upon waking-up, train them to have the habit of being grateful for another day of life to live. Simply having 3 deep breaths and saying “thank you” with a smile is great way to start with.
  • During breakfast, train your child to say “thank you” to the person who prepares breakfast (even if it is you- the parent who trains them). This simple act teaches your child how easy it is to motivate others.
  • Before starting your day individually, tell each other “have a great day ahead” or “I’m proud of what you do” or anything nice about the other person to give them an extra boost. This can be told to siblings or parents who works or even to a child who goes to school or even just a visit to the park.

EVENINGS

  • Ask how each other’s day have been. Dinner stories are one of the best childhood memories you can give your child.
  • Enjoy each other’s small and big victories for the day. Knowing someone appreciates you helps boost self-esteem. If it’s a good day, applaud them for a good job. If not, know how to motivate them and that everything would be okay. There’s always tomorrow where you can do something to improve on whatever it is.
  • Before closing your eyes to sleep, think of 5 things you’re grateful that happened that day. You don’t need to big wins in life to do this. Simply appreciating you’ve got your family home safely or you’ve never been hungry throughout the day are great things to be thankful too.

Showing gratitude isn’t really hard. As said in the beginning of this blog, it’s just overlooked by many as we tend to be busy with lots of stuff that we forget the little things that also matters. What’s great with gratitude is it won’t cost you any money and you don’t even need to invest much time to do it.

You simply just need to make it a habit to see the good things in life. Make an effort appreciating your abilities and saying or showing to motivate others.

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