Growing Thankful Children

How do we raise children that are appreciative and respectful in a world where entitlement and indulgence are becoming the norm? If we instill a mindset of gratitude at home, a lifelong practice will begin, and our children will be happier for it.
 
Above all else, lead by example. Just as you would model dressing for success with your Squiddledee tie, model gratitude daily. When you live in such a way that you appreciate and value the simple things in life, your children will likely follow. Show appreciation to everyone you meet, whether it’s the pilot on your flight or the bathroom attendant at the movies. Make a point of sharing your observations when someone does something for you and thank those who serve.
 
Take the emphasis off materialism. When your child has a long list of toys or items he or she wants for their birthday, remind them about gifts that can be given that don’t cost money. Help him or her understand that a gift can be a thoughtful gesture or a special handmade item.
 
Set expectations when shopping and try not to buy frivolous things just to avoid a meltdown. Explain the value of money and relate it to something they want you to buy. Discuss wants and needs and the difference between them. Children will feel good about themselves when they save up their own money to buy what they want, as it will be more meaningful.
 
Volunteer with your child and practice giving when your time is needed. Talk about the process and why you care about others, and research organizations together and find one that you both want to help.
 
By learning gratitude, children become sensitive to the feelings of others while developing empathy and mindfulness.

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