If your kids are anything like mine, they are nice, polite, helpful, caring little beings at school but when they get home they are a completely different little person. Like what happened during the car ride from school to home? Well, you’re in luck! Here are 10 ways to teach your kids how to be grateful human beings no matter what time of day it is!
1. Lead By Example
Don’t tell them, show them.
First and foremost, treat your children the way you want to be treated. How do they know how to treat others if you never show them?
Always say please and thank you, smile at everyone you pass, hold doors for others, speak kindly to everyone you encounter. Even if you don’t think they notice, they do (especially your road rage during rush hour 🙂 )
It’s our job to teach these little humans, we’ve created, what it means to be grateful so make sure that you are grateful as well!
2. Give Back
Volunteer your time and goods.
Have your kids clean out their toys before their birthday or Christmas (to make room for the new) and donate some of them to the Salvation Army or another good cause. Explain to them where they will be going and why it’s important to help those less fortunate.
Also find ways to do some community service as a family. There’s nothing better than teaching your kids how to be giving by doing it together and helping the community in which you live!
Teach them what it means to work, give them a chore list.
I’m super OCD about cleaning and having it done a specific way. It was just easier for me to do it than to teach my family how I wanted it done. I realized this was a bad idea just recently because now my family expects me to do everything. WHAT?! I know right?! Who saw that coming? Definitely not me!
Not only did I put everything on myself but I also did them no favors by doing it all for them and now I’m paying for it. Your kids are capable of doing “chores” at a very young age and you can increase their work around the house the older they get!
Get your free Chore Chart by Age here!
4. Make Them Wait
Teach them patience.
Make them wait on that second plate of food until you’re done with yours. Make them wait on you to get that game down that they want until you’re done doing the dishes (or ask them to help with the dishes to get done quicker!) Don’t let them interrupt your conversation, make them wait until you’re done to tell you about their sock that’s bothering their little foot.
Patience can go a long way in this busy world of ours where instant gratification is always at our fingertips! Make them wait. They will thank you later!
Teach them how to respect others and treat everyone fairly.
This is another lead by example sort of thing. It’s important that we teach our children how to use their manners, be polite, and be helpful to everyone no matter what they look like. The respect that you would show to the CEO of a major company is the same respect that you should show the janitor of that same company. At the end of the day we are ALL human beings.
When we teach our children how to be kind and caring little humans, they turn out to be kind and caring adults. This world needs more of that.
Don’t give them gifts, give them time and experiences.
If you’re anything like me, shopping is one of your stress relievers. I love buying my kids stuff and I love shopping for them. The problem with this is that they never know what it means to NEED something. Why would they, you make sure they have that new doll or those new shoes when they come out. They learn quickly that things can be replaced and they don’t learn the importance of taking care of what they already have.
Now time, time is something you can’t replace and neither are their experiences. Make sure you take the time to provide them with ample experiences such as good conversation, what it feels like to be warm and safe, loved, and happy.
7. Be Positive
Verbally express your gratitude daily and be positive.
Being positive puts people in better moods, helps with happiness and in turn helps people be able to “see” and truly be grateful for everything and everyone around them.
As a parent, if we point out daily what we are grateful for, our kids will quickly learn what to be grateful for as well. It’s not enough though, for them to know what to be grateful for but also why to be grateful. Have that conversation with them often.
8. Be Generous
Encourage them to share and be kind.
Teaching kids to share at a young age shows them what it means to be generous adults. When we are able to share what we have with those who have very little, we learn very quickly what it means to be grateful.
Let them buy that toy they really wanted in the store with their OWN money.
When a child works hard for something, they tend to take better care of it and appreciate it more. The more often they work for those special things the more they understand what it means to work and be grateful for all of the things that you do for them. As we develop our working children, we are assisting and teaching them how to become successful, working adults.
Random Acts of Kindness.
Everyone does the random acts of kindness thing every once in awhile, usually during November when people spend the whole month rehashing what they are thankful for. But, why only do it for a month? Why not try to do something nice for someone else every day? I know, you’re thinking, do I really need to come up with acts of kindness every day forever?
Nope! Acts of Kindness don’t always have to be for strangers and they don’t always have to be grand gestures. You can leave a little note on the bathroom mirror, spend an extra 10 minutes watching your kids favorite show, or make that special dinner your spouse loves! It doesn’t always have to be extreme, the most important thing is that your taking a few minutes out of your day to think about someone else. If you teach your kids this, they will quickly learn what it means to think of others and be grateful.
Check out my Acts of Kindness Calendar to give you some ideas or use for yourself!
Well, that’s it, that’s all I’ve got for you. If you’ve found some other ways to teach kids how to be grateful, let me know below! The more we talk to each other, the more we learn! Until next time, its cool mom 🙂