Every parent wants the best for their children. Ideally, every parent wants their children to be happy, healthy and grateful. As a matter of fact, research indicates that modern families classify “gratitude as one of the traits of a healthy family.
It is easy and natural to teach children to say “thank you,” but the challenge is to teach them the feeling of gratitude. The benefits of having a thankful heart and living in a manner where being thankful is a way of life is ideally what every family should strive for. Raising children who live in a thankful state will create individuals who will experience stronger social relationships, life satisfaction, stronger psycholigical well being as well as overall good health.
Gratitude is more than just saying thank you. Gratitude is not just a behavior. Gratitude is an internal experience. According to a research study done in Raising Grateful Children, there is a four-part model of gratitude that concentrates on the items that people give us. The four parts are: analyzing why the items were given, connecting receiving gifts to the feeling it creates, having appreciation for the gift received and showing appreciation for the gift received. The game plan for assuring your child develops heartfelt gratitude is to begin the habit of engaging the 4 parts of the gratitude model, NOTICE-THINK-FEEL-DO. Below are five strategies to foster gratitude within children.
Parents who are grateful daily for the trivial things have children who develop a grateful attitude. As a matter of fact, parents who demonstrate a grateful attitude daily have a higher chance to demonstrate parenting behaviors that foster gratitude. An ideal practice would be to model gratitude by expressing appreciation. Parents should also consider the benefits their children will acquire by seeing them model the NOTICE-THINK-FEEL-DO attributes of gratefulness. These internal behaviors can simply be implemented by sharing thoughts of gratitude out loud.
The decision a parent makes on what type of environment or niches they create for their children is vital on creating an attitude of gratitude. The niches parents create such as afterschool activity to the playground they choose to spend time should be guided by the goal which is creating an attitude of gratitude. Research confirms that parents who choose activities for their children that instill gratitude create children with grateful hearts. This is vital because it gives parents the tools to affect the children’s attitude of gratitude. Parents should be mindful of the environment they select for their children. There should be a balance in activities that foster healthy bodies and competition and activities which engage children in civic engagement and community service. When parent make a conscious effort of creating children with grateful hearts, the choices made of where time will be spent benefit the children in several ways.
TALK ABOUT IT WHEN IT IS THERE
Parents should take advantage of moments when their children share gratitude as “teachable moments.” Using open-ended questions will allow children to remember grateful experiences with greater details.
TALK ABOUT IT WHEN IT IS NOT THERE
The study found that parents found it challenging to speak with their children about times when they were not grateful. When the children missed an opportunity to share gratefulness, when they showed entitlement or simply missed the opportunity to experience gratitude the parent may feel upset, can be embarrassed and discouraged. The question is how does a parent keep their cool and help children to use these challenging situations as a learning opportunity? In order for parents to speak to their children about missed opportunities for gratitude, parents need to start by using the same conversational skills when talking about times of gratitude. Listening carefully to children’s experiences of these moments, through open-ended child-centered conversation, may provide parents with clues as to what is getting in the way of their children experiencing gratitude. Are they making assumptions about how a gift came their way? Are they focusing on something else in the moment that is important to them and distracting them? Do they not yet have the skill of seeing the situation from someone else’s perspective? These are questions that parents need to ponder if faced with this challenge.
By first learning about how children see these moments, parents may gain new insights into how to get these moments back on track and help children to catch opportunities for gratitude when they come along.
REPEAT IT OFTEN
To become proficient at anything, one needs practice, reflection and time to become an expert at the skill. Is challenging for children to analyze gifts received through thoughts and feelings since it demands for them to depend upon other-focused developmental skills such as perspective and empathy. As children’s brains mature and they practice gratitude, the skills become easier. They become proficient in learning to make the connection between thoughts and feelings and this practice becomes a lifelong skill that everyone uses over their life time. As children get older, their opportunities to experience gratitude attitude increases. Children who can develop the skill to receive the gift behind the gift are in a better position to experience gratitude in a deeper manner and by developing this skill they are able to express gratitude to others in a deeper level.
The research to teach parents how to develop children with grateful hearts is vast. Reading all the advice can become really overwhelming to parents. Take it one day at a time, and if support is what you need, in order to be proficient at teaching your children how to live a grateful life, email me for a FREE 20 minute Life Coaching session: firstname.lastname@example.org
The GGSC’s coverage of gratitude is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation as part of our Expanding Gratitude project.
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As per the Center for parenting, there are ten key strategies to raising children. Below you can read and share this blog with others.
- Children thrive BEST in a home filled with respect and LOVE. The respect must be a 2 way street. Parents must respect their children and children must do the same.
- It is important that parents listen to their children. Listen with a quite non-judgmental ear as your children share their feelings and thoughts.
- The main emphasis should be what is good and positive about your children.
- Allow your children to learn and do tasks for themselves.
- Be cognizant of what your children can accomplish based on their age, maturity and skill level. Celebrate their accomplishments!
- Be “consistent!” Do what you say you are going to do.
- Do not become physical, emotionally or mentally abusive.
- Admit when you make mistakes. Be aware of your mistakes and teach your children that mistakes have lessons within them to be learned.
- Behave how you expect your children to behave.
- Laughter is the BEST medicine. Make sure your home is filled with a sense of humor.
Need assistance becoming a BETTER parent? Email me for a FREE 20 minute Life Coaching session: email@example.com
Certified Professional Life Coach
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Is True that children do not come with an instructional manual, however, with that being said, we are more prepared than our parents ever were to raise children with a healthy self esteem and self worth.
To achieve this objective there are certain strategies that MUST be put into place in our daily parenting journey. Below are 11 strategies that will guarantee our children do not need to have therapy during their later years! 🙂
- Our Children came from us, however, they are here to serve their own given GOD Purpose. We MUST allow them their space in order to become who GOD created them to be. Showing them unconditional LOVE, and accepting them, teaches them that it is safe to be who GOD created them to be!
- Having Honest conversations with our children go a long way. Speak to your children about EVERYTHING based on their age. Teach them about your bills, your budget, your childhood, your teen years.
- Use your experiences so that they understand that you are not from Mars. You have to speak to them, not in judgement, not preaching, not lecturing, but have honest communications about feelings and aspirations.
- Teach them that an ATM machine is not a magical box and that groceries, gas, clothing, extracurricular activities cost! Show them the value of a dollar. Teach them to make a budget.
- Choose to take the time to LISTEN! No matter what you hear, try your BEST not to use judging words! Listen and then, go to the bathroom or your room and scream, but DO NOT allow your children to feel you are condemning them for sharing their experiences with you!
- Consequences are needed in your child’s life! Consequences is a better word than punishment as punishment has a negative connotation. At this time is when I tell you no spanking, however, I am not totally convinced that no spanking is the way to go, so I shall leave it as food for thoughts! The bottom line is that boundaries have to be set and your child MUST know when you are serious and when negotiations can take place.
- Become your child’s greatest “ADVOCATE!” Encourage your child to do what they are passionate about and support them! Become that “soccer MOM,” Drama Dad.”
- Act as you say! Look at your behavior, are you acting in a way that would be pleasing to you if you saw your child acting in that manner? The days of “do as I do and not as I say” are gone! We have to be responsible to be life models for our children.
- Do not bully your children! Do not call them names! Do not make fun of them! ALWAYS validate their feelings.
- Having fun is a positive way to deal with Life! Humor is healthy! Remember, humor at the expense of your child is not acceptable!
- Make it a priority to learn what makes your child tick! Learn each developmental stage your child is going through and the BEST strategies to assist in this development. If you need assistance with these 11 steps, do not hesitate to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE 20 minute Parent Life Coaching session.
The Center for Parenting Education, The Parenting Tip – “High self-esteem is not noisy conceit. It is a quiet sense of self-respect, a feeling of self-worth.”
Certified Professional Life Coach
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It is ALWAYS a good day to begin again!
Take a Life Inventory, think about what your New Year Resolutions were for 2014!
How are you doing?
Are you on target with your New Year Resolutions?
Are you satisfied with your progress?
What can you do different to make a positive impact in your life, world and affairs for the rest of the year?
Do you want to become more focused on your goals?
Do you need assistance keeping YourSelf motivated?
Do you think you would be a good candidate for Life Coaching?
If you want to explore the benefits of Life Coaching, send me an email, email@example.com for a FREE 20 minute Life Coaching session!
Happy New Year!
Certified Professional Life Coach
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