Did you know that gratitude can be taught? Instead of assuming that your child is a selfish brat, try turning the mirror around instead at how you parent, and ask yourself if you’re doing enough to help them learn how to be grateful.
Even if you’re a new parent, the advice below can help your children learn joy, and how to appreciate both themselves and others.
Say Thank You
You can’t expect your child to be polite if you aren’t modeling that behavior yourself. Practice what you preach and lead by example. Be sure to thank others around you, including your child – and you’d better believe they’ll pick up the habit.
You can also encourage them to say thank you to others as the opportunity presents itself.
Give Homemade Gifts
Instead of gifting your child plastic on top of plastic, try gifting heartfelt, handmade items to them instead, and help them do the same for others in their lives. Working hard towards making someone else happy can help them appreciate those kinds of gifts so much more when they receive them in return.
It is Better to Give than Receive
Speaking of gifts, this can also be an opportunity to instill generosity in your child, and to help encourage them to take pride in giving, instead of focusing so much on receiving.
You can have them choose or create gifts for others without expecting to have the favor returned – the point is to make someone’s day brighter, and to recognize that in itself is a gift.
Focus on the Positive
It is really easy to find the negatives in life, so try to help your child find the silver lining instead. You can even do this in your manner of speaking. Instead of demanding that your child do something, ask them for help instead.
Make Them Help Clean
If all your children do is watch you run around cleaning up after them all day, they’re never going to respect the hard work that it takes, or the person doing it. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes a day, make sure that your child is participating in helping to make your home tidy.
This can go a long way in helping them to become responsible adults who don’t expect others to do the work for them.