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11 Ways to Raise Grateful Kids

Today Mighty Mommy shares 11 ways to instill a mindset of gratitude in your children and in your family’s way of life.

By
Cheryl Butler,
November 25, 2013
Episode #257

Page 1 of 2

One of the common themes that many of us can relate to is that we live in a world of instant gratification.  And if you’ve got kids in your life, you know that they not only want things granted instantly, they feel entitled to have it that way.

Sigh!

If our Pilgrim ancestors could see the hissy fits many kids pull at the check-out counter when they are denied access to a king-sized candy bar, or worse, if they witnessed how many parents actually give in to keep the peace and prevent an embarrassing meltdown, I think they’d go cry in a corn maze. How could we have gotten so spoiled and ungrateful in just a few generations?

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If you are struggling with this in your own family or would love to see a lot more gratitude instilled in today’s youth, rest assured that it is definitely possible. You just need to set a simple standard of appreciation in your daily lives. Here are Mighty Mommy's 11 ways to instill a mindset of gratitude in your children and make it your family’s way of life:

Tip #1: Give Thanks, Always

Regardless of your financial status, the size home you live in, the kind of car you drive, or the labels on your clothing, an attitude of gratitude helps us thrive.  Make saying “Thank you” a part of your everyday lives—no matter what.  Model this for your family.

“Wow, I’m so thankful we get to eat this hot meal of pasta and meatballs together on this cold night.  We’re so lucky! Many other families never have this privilege.”  Kids need to hear what adults are thankful for on a regular basis.

Tip #2: Show Your Kids Appreciation

A regular question, "What are you most thankful for today?" can serve as a comforting routine at bedtime or a highlight of a weekly dinner ritual.

Kids learn to appreciate when they live it themselves.  Set an example and show appreciation by making it clear that you paid attention to their real efforts: "Your room looks so nice with the toys in their bins. I'm so happy that you remembered to put them away!  Dad and I really appreciate that."

Tip #3: Teach Gratitude Through Role Playing

Teach through role play. If your little one is too shy to say "Thank you" in a social setting, they can pretend to teach their stuffed animals or dolls to do so in the comfort of their own room, while you play along.

Tip #4: Set a Thankful Routine

Create daily or weekly routines. A regular question, "What are you most thankful for today?" can serve as a comforting routine at bedtime or a highlight of a weekly dinner ritual.  In our family, we do this several times during the week at dinner or while driving to sports practices and events.  Years later, my older kids now ask me what I’m thankful for!

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