7-9 YEARS OLD
It’s not that he is unappreciative; it’s just that he is unaware of any other way of life, says DR RICHARD C. WOOLFSON.
You’ve worked hard to provide for your tween, so can’t he be more appreciative? Here’s what you should understand rst.
Your nine-year-old’s life is interesting, exciting and stimulating, with by a host of material comforts that you never had at the same age. You are delighted his life is good and healthy, but you feel he should be more grateful – after all, you have had to work hard to provide for him.
It’s crucial to be realistic. Comparing your childhood with what you see today shows you clearly how much things have changed for the (hopefully) better. For instance, your memory of the limited options in toys when you were a child helps you appreciate how much family life has improved.
But your kid knows only what he has experienced himself. So it’s not surprising he takes his new shoes, new tablet, and all those car trips for granted, because these have always been part of his life. Here’s how to improve your child’s appreciation of good things in his life, without making him feel guilty:
Say “thank you”
Teach him to express gratitude whenever he receives a gift, help or a new toy, as it is an acknowledgement that the act was special and important.
Make sure he engages in activities such as charity and projects that support the needy. It boosts his appreciation of the good life he leads.
Donate some of his allowance
Discuss about giving, say, 10 per cent of his weekly allowance to charity. Talk to him about different
charities and let him choose one he wants to support. Even better, have him drop his own money into the collection box.
Use “appreciative” language
Choose the right words. For instance, say: “Look at that fantastic rainbow, it’s so colourful”, or “I’m so glad we can chat together like this.” Articulating your appreciation of the small things in life enables him to recognise that these are wonderful.
Have “no-spend” days You don’t have to spend money every time you are out – a walk together in the neighbourhood park costs nothing and you can pack drinks and snacks from home. He learns to have fun without spending a vast amount of money.
Prepare to say “no”
You enjoy buying him things because it makes him happy. But if you refuse occasionally, he’ll start to appreciate those times when you do even more. Don’t be afraid to turn him down – you can’t afford to buy him everything he wants.
You don’t have to spend money every time you are out – a walk together in the neighbourhood park costs nothing.
Assume slow progress Junior won’t suddenly become more appreciative. It takes time, so be patient with him.