8 ways to teach tots gratitude
8 WAYS TO TEACH TOTS GRATITUDE
Lead by example. Children are quick to mimic their parents’ behavior, so make a point of expressing your own gratitude when kindness is shown or a gift given. Children will learn to follow suit quickly and it will stay with them throughout their lives.
“Please” and “Thank you” go a long, long way. A baby’s first words may be mama or dada, but it’s never too early to put please and thank you in a child’s vocabulary.
For Thanksgiving, ask young children to make a list of five things they are grateful for and also ask them to draw a picture that expresses the sentiment.
Kids are fascinated by parking meters, so the next time you are in a downtown shopping district and you’re ready to leave, invite your child to put some extra money in the meter for the next shopper who comes along.
While children are making their holiday wish lists, ask them to also make a list of gifts they would like to give to the special people in their lives. It will teach them to be unselfish and to consider others’ wants and needs.
Create a box of homemade thank-you notes. Kids are always looking for an art project, so why not make something useful? The thank-you note will seem like less of a chore if it’s created for fun rather than by responsibility. Then, it will be given with pride and love as a token of esteem.
One good turn deservers another. If your child is on the receiving end of a kindness, encourage the child to return it when it’s least expected. The element of surprise will make it more like a game and you can plot when it will take place, reinforcing the message.
The glass is almost always half full. If children are taught to be positive from a young age, they will see a world full of opportunity and potential. In turn, they will be naturally grateful for life’s beauty and be inclined to be open to its infinite possibilities.