Exploring Gratitude with Your Child

Encouraging your child to consider what they’re grateful for and what makes them happy will help them with their confidence and promote an optimistic attitude. As human beings, we all have a tendency to dwell on the things we don’t have, like the latest iPhone, a better paying job or some more friends, but that just leads to negative feelings of dissatisfaction and jealousy. It’s far better to focus on what we do have, and it will come more naturally if we start practising this from a young age. With that said, I have teamed up with a prep school in Surrey to share some tips on how you can explore gratitude with your child at home.

Be a Good Role Model
Start by talking about what you’re grateful for around your child, even if it’s something as simple as your colleague complimenting your new shoes or your partner bringing you a cup of tea in the morning. Remind your child of how fortunate you are to have such thoughtful people in your life. When you’re watching TV, say something like “aren’t we lucky to have such a big TV we can watch movies on?”. The idea is to try and emphasise how blessed you are as a family, both in a material sense and also in terms of your relationships. Then encourage your child to follow suit by asking them what they’re grateful each evening. You could even give them a notepad and pen so that they can keep a gratitude journal.

Demonstrate Your Gratitude
It’s one thing to chat about what you’re grateful for, but why not take it to the next level and actually demonstrate it. For instance, at the end of term you could buy your child’s teachers a gift and a card to express how much you appreciate their support. If your child has a birthday party, encourage them to send thank you cards to the people who made an effort to attend so that they learn to value a persons’ time and effort, not just the gifts they give.

Put Things into Perspective
Let’s say your boiler breaks and you don’t have any central heating for a few days. While this will be frustrating and expensive, try and put a positive spin on it around your child by putting it into a perspective. After all, some people don’t even have a roof over their head, let alone central heating. If you have an elderly neighbour who is struggling to carry their groceries, encourage your child to help out as this will help them understand how fortunate they are to be fit and healthy enough to carry some bags. Not only will this help them to appreciate what they have, it might also help them become more compassionate towards those who are less fortunate than them.

*Collaborative Post