This is so great I can’t not share: How to raise grateful children from Awesomely Awake.com. I love it that my boys are super duper good with their ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’s. It makes me smile, it makes me proud, when they are playing in the sandbox and have no idea I’m listening to them (while doing the dishes or something) and one of them hands a toy to the other one, and I hear their little two year old voices say: “Thank you Toto!” “You’re welcome, Milan.” It’s so cute! For me it’s really important to raise polite little boys, cause I feel it shows respect to whoever they are talking to and/or the situation they are in.
That’s why I love this post so much. It’s about how saying thank you is good manners, but it’s a lot harder to teach kids to truly be thankful. And I think thankful little kids are pleasant little kids. Well, most of the time
These are some of the ideas of Awesomely Awake:
Give thanks. For all children, writing or drawing a picture of the things they are thankful for is a great way to get them thinking about being thankful. For the ones not quite ready for that kind of daily devotion, a simple bedtime ritual works wonders. Ask your child what she is grateful for today? Share your own idea or two with her as well.
Make cards. Every now and then, I buy blank cards and let the kids go crazy with decorating them anyway they want. We send those cards to the people in our life that need a lift. Thank you cards are a lost art that some of us really wish we could get people to spend more time on. Make a card. Give thanks daily. Spread joy weekly.
Talk about the world. Talk about how the rain is important to the flowers. Talk about how we get our food. Talk about the importance of Sunday morning pancakes. Talk about what matters to your children. Help them see the world from a different perspective. Help him understand that things on the other side aren’t always how they appear and that we must be thankful for what we have and not yearn for what others have. Help your children see life from all sides. Be grateful for it all.
Be a Gratitude Role Model. When you spend every night writing all your blessings into a journal, you’re bound to pass it on to your children. Saying these blessings out loud to them only reinforces this type of modeling. “I’m so happy you are in my life.” “I’m so honored to have good friends.” “Your Dad is the best Dad in the world.” “I am so grateful to get to spend my day with you.”