How to Raise a Thankful Child
November 2, 2012
The holidays are a perfect time to reflect on your blessings and express thankfulness. While it's difficult to take time during all the busyness of your family's schedule and be thankful, how we model thankfulness is vital to whether our children will act and treat others with gratitude. Check out our tips on how to raise a thankful child.
1: Model Thankfulness. Say "thanks" every day. Parent, if you want your kids to be thankful, they have to see it in you first. Make a point to say "thank you" every day and at various moments. Thank your child for doing his chores well. Thank your wife for making a great dinner or for her help in getting the kids to extracurricular activities. Don't limit thanks for actions - thank your family for being kind, patient, caring, or whatever character quality you notice about them that day.
2: The "Thankful" Talk. During dinner, ask each member of the family what they were most thankful for that day. Make it a daily habit. Taking a moment to reflect on the day will help everyone find something positive, even if it was a tough day. Plus, it will give you extra insight into what's going on in your child's life.
3: Advertise Your Thankfulness. Hang a dry-erase board in a prominent place in your home and call it "The Thankful Board." Encourage your family to write messages on the board to either say thanks to each other or to share something they are thankful for. Use colorful markers and fun magnets to decorate your "Thankful Board."
4: Teach Thankfulness. Help your child understand why it is important to say "thank you." It's not just because it's good manners! Ask your child how they feel when someone says "thank you" to them. Tell them that other people also want to feel noticed, appreciated, and valued and that saying "thank you" makes someone else feel happy too.
The number one way to create a thankful home is to make sure you are thankful! Set the tone for thankfulness in your home, Dad!
Visit our "Thanks, Dad!" page for more on how you can connect with your family and other dads just like you!
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photo credit: Vermin Inc