August 20, 2019

Instilling a Sense of Gratitude in Your Child

Although you may sometimes feel like your child is the most selfish kid on the face of the planet, the truth is that all small children are inherently self-centered.

As they get older and begin to notice more about the world around them, it’s up to us as parents to guide them toward empathy for others and gratitude for the good things in life.
Most kids don’t realize how good they have it. When you have a roof over your head, food on your table and toys to play with, you tend to take that for granted.

By encouraging your kids to participate in the world around them and volunteer to help others in your community, you can help develop their sense of gratitude.

Volunteer in the Community

Many community programs welcome children volunteers. Participating in groups like Scouts or helping through a church or similar organization will open up plenty of volunteer opportunities. Make a point of volunteering your own time, and explain to your child what you are doing and why it’s important. Encourage your child to ask questions, and try to answer them as honestly as possible.

Role-play Kindness Toward Others

Did your child behave in a selfish way toward another child? Sit down with your child and talk about what happened and why taking things or behaving in a selfish manner is not okay. Act out little scenarios in which you take toys and other items from your child, and talk about how that makes him feel. Children ages 4 and under may struggle with this concept, but older children will understand easier.

Donate Old Toys

Does your child’s room look like a toy store exploded in there? Many children acquire new toys with no obligation to give up their old ones, some of which may not have even been played with. Go through your child’s room and start pulling out toys that are no longer played with or that have been outgrown. Explain to your child what you are doing — and that she is not being punished! — and ask her to help you choose toys that are no longer loved so that other children can enjoy them. Have your child come with you when you donate the toys ,and talk about how much other children are going to appreciate the toys and how thoughtful and kind she is for giving them up.