Cultivating Gratitude in Your Kids

gratitude

Many of us today have so much that it can be easy to take it for granted. Especially for children, whose developmental level lends itself to entitlement, it can be hard to maintain a sense of gratitude for the things they have rather than dissatisfaction over the things they don’t.

The holidays are often a time set aside for us to take a step back and spend some time consciously examining our lives and our blessings.

However, many parents today face a struggle in how to help their children develop a true sense of gratitude, not just around the holidays, but throughout the rest of the year as well.

One of the biggest ways to help your kids be grateful is to model gratitude yourself in your everyday life.

Pay attention to the way you talk about your struggles and blessings, and make a conscious effort to practice gratefulness on a daily basis. Talk to your kids about focusing on gratefulness, or even sign up for a gratefulness challenge on social media. You will likely feel the benefits yourself, as well as being a good role model for your kids.

You can also help your kids engage in activities that will highlight the fact that the things they have and have access to are not the same for ALL children in their community or around the world.

Mission trips, volunteering activities books and movies can be great ways to stimulate discussions about being grateful and they provide glimpses into lives and situations very different from their own.

You don’t have to go all the way around the world either – seek the volunteer opportunities in your own community. Serving in your own community is great way to stay close to home but get involved on regular basis.

Take advantage of the Holiday season to start to plant some seeds of gratitude, but then don’t stop tending to them once the holidays are over. Make gratitude a part of your everyday life and your kids will start to do so too!

Molly Halbrooks, LAMFT
mhalbrooks@growcounseling.com

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