7 Easy Ways to Teach Your Children to be Grateful for What They Have

Here are some easy ways to incorporate instilling the virtue of gratitude in your children. As you go through your day, show them, the wonderful events going on behind the scenes that we all most usually take for granted.

1. Set the Right Example

It is better if you teach them by using the appropriate words at the right times yourself. How many parents do you see saying “Thank You” to there two or three year old children. It is through example that kids learn best, and teaching gratitude is no different than anything else in that respect. “Children Learn What They Live!”

2. Teach It Through Role Playing

You can play games with your children that implement the virtue of gratitude. Play the second chair and practice showing them how it feels to be on the receiving end of an unexpected, “Thank You!”

3. Teach by Showing Them How to Be of Service to Others

Even simple things such as holding a door for an elderly person, are small ways we can show them how others appreciate us and our actions. It is also a way to put a smile and a lift into a strangers day, which always creates a good feeling within the person who is doing the kind act as well.
You would be surprised how many times a simple gesture like this can occur in your normal day activities, in places like grocery stores, doctors offices, or shopping trips.

4. Make a List

An easy way to get them to make lists of what they are thankful for is to use “The Daily Gratitude Journal Software” You will find a link to this software in the resource box at the end of this article. There are two versions, one written in “kid language and displaying an output of “kid fonts” and an adult version as well.

5. Teach Gratitude While Going Without Things

Recently my single family of three kids and myself had to deal with a full 24 hours of no power. This outage caused by a wind storm, was an ideal opportunity for me to teach them what we had to be thankful for that we normally took for granted. Simple things like, lights, heat, and being able to watch Tv, were just a few that quickly came to mind.

6. Show them How to Be Thankful for the Little Things in Life

As in the previous example, although, most of us would not consider heat and light little things, they are things that are always there for our kids, so they are simple things that they usually don’t pay much attention too.

Other simple examples could include; having food to eat all the time, friends to play with, and having plenty of toys and school supplies. Showing them examples of third world country children who go without these things is a way of teaching them appreciation for what they have, too.

7. Teach them to see the good in someone they don’t like

You can even use a negative experience to teach them the value of being grateful. When I think of this, immediately what comes to my mind is the Walt Disney movie, “PollyAnna” where she played the “Glad” game and found many things to be grateful for in every situation she encountered. Renting this video, watching and discussing it with them would be a great, gratitude building quality time family activity.

As you go through your day, show them, the wonderful events going on behind the scenes that we all most usually take for granted. Things like the police, who protect us, the firemen who are there for those who need them, and the clerk at the grocery store doing her job to help us get our food. Simple thank you comments to all of these daily activities is the easiest way to role model appreciation that they will learn and emulate.

8 Reasons Why Your Child Hates Reading

Are you troubled by your child’s disinterest in reading? Maybe you have a young child just learning to read. You try to encourage the learning by reading together. However, each reading session is a struggle. Your child shuns it like a hated vegetable . Or maybe your child can already read, but just doesn’t want to. They even tell you straight in your face, “I hate reading.”

How did it come to this? Why does your child dislike reading? Basically, it comes down to one thing: the love for reading was never ignited or have been extinguished. Here are 8 ways to kill a child’s love for reading:

1. Reading sessions are more like drilling sessions. Don’t quiz and test children when reading. It’s ok to point things out and ask questions to promote thinking but make sure it stays FUN. Don’t turn it into a pressurized teaching session. Yes, you hope that they learn something from the reading but don’t make that your main objective. Read to enjoy the story. Learning usually takes place when the teaching is not so obvious.

2. Television, video and computer games takes center stage when it comes to relaxation and entertainment. These strongly distracts children from reading. There needs to be a limit to these activities if you want to convince them that books can be entertaining too.

3. Reading books that are too difficult for their reading level. It is very discouraging for children to open a book and not know how to read many of the words. Where is the joy when you struggle to get through a page? Know your child’s reading ability and get books appropriate to their level.

4. Reading sessions turn into screaming and put down sessions. Parents need to hold realistic expectations of their children. Control frustrations when children don’t excel as fast as you wish they would. Watch your tongue and avoid derogatory remarks such as “Can’t you remember that word, we just read it,” or “I’ve told you many times already. What’s wrong with you?”

5. Reading books that are of no interest to them. How do children regard these books? BORING! To a young boy, reading a book on dinosaurs may be more captivating than reading a book about Dick and Jane. Draw your teenagers into reading with books that they can relate too. I know when I was that age I was game for books on love, romance, and friendship. Capitalize on your child’s hobbies and interests.

6. Forced reading. for older children, sometimes homework is in the form of assigned readings. Usually a report has to be handed in at the end. Although this is done under good intentions, it is easy for a child to regard reading as a chore to be done. Very likely too, the assigned reading is not of their choice and therefore, not of their liking. Reading in this situation is like dragging feet in the mud.

7. Peer pressure. This is another factor that affects older children. Kids can be cruel with their branding and teasing. The term “nerds” and “geeks” are usually thrown at those that indulge in books. Your child may very well choose to shun books just to fit in and be one of the “cool kids.”

8. Limiting what children read. Imagine if you loved sci-fi books but was told you could only read classics. What a damper that would be for you right? Be open to what your child wants to read. You may think your child has moved passed picture books but he wants it anyway. Let him. Or you may think reading comic books have less educational value then reading well known novels. Remember, it’s a book in their hands nonetheless. So, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, picture books, comic books, magazines etc… be supportive.

You want to get your child reading, you have to first show that it is fun and enjoyable. Don’t push too hard to get your child to learn to read or read to learn. Only when there is love for reading can the learning begin.