The last time my husband got home from his travels, he handed over a packet of their favorite chocolates to the boys. They waited expectantly as he was unpacking, hoping for more goodies to be passed on.
When he mentioned that he had absolutely no time to shop during this trip, their smile turned into a frown and they asked, “You really did not get anything ELSE for us this time?” Shooting a look of disappointment, they went down to play.
Before the better–half succumbed to a guilt trip and took them to their favorite store for not having got anything for them, I made the boys sit and understand that there would be times when they would be disappointed. And that rather than focusing on what they did not get, they could focus on what they have and be thankful for it.
My 8 year old twin boys didn’t quite get the message, but I realized that their sense of entitlement was strong because they were surrounded by people who gave into everything that they wanted. If I were to put it very straight, the boys were getting stuff without knowing or caring where it comes from. Often, not thankful for what they received. That made me take a step back and let them into a world of gratitude.
It isn’t easy to teach gratitude to kids. It can take days, months or years for them to understand what gratitude means. Incorporating these small things in your daily life can make a difference and move children closer to knowing more about gratitude.
9 Ways To Teach Your Kids Gratitude
It isn’t easy to start with. You will need to work around different ways to teach your kids gratitude. But once you make it a habit, you’ll be amazed at how children will learn more about gratitude. While I do try to be consistent, there are times when I miss some of the exercises, but these are some of my tried and tested ways to teach your kids gratitude.
Ask them what are they grateful for
We try not to miss this one ritual. Every night, just take out two minutes to ask them to list at least three things that made them happy or they are grateful for. It makes a sea of difference when they understand what they are thankful for.
Make a gratitude jar
Take an empty glass canister and let them write any one thing that they are grateful for in the day. Fold and put it in the jar. Colour co-ordinate the papers for different members of the family. Having a low day? Pick a chit and read what you wrote. Chances are that you’ll focus on gratitude than what you are lacking.
Let them share
Most of the times, the boys end up with multiple similar gifts. I’ve made it a habit to get them to share those gifts. Whether it is contributing to a toy donation drive or sharing it with street kids.Sharing makes them understand a different aspect of happiness – they can make someone happy too.
Looking for more ways to teach your kids gratitude? Head over to The Quint to know more ways to do so. This post was originally published on The Quint. Read the rest of the post here.