Teaching Your Child To Be Grateful And Having Gratitude As A Parent

For us parents and guardians, we sometimes wonder how to raise grateful kids. Gratitude is an important value to teach your children, it lightens up the whole family, and it gives you the enthusiasm and energy. Gratitude puts you and your family in a good emotional state, when you are in the right emotional state then you can perform your best as a parent and as a provider for your family. On the other hand, when we are in a bad emotional state we tend to be critical, blaming, and less forgiving of others which can cause rifts in our important relationships.

Here are some tips for teaching your child to be grateful and to become grateful yourself.

  • Find more moments to smile
  • Go out of your way to find the good that everyone in your family is doing
  • Adopt a “There you are!” mentality
  • Keep a family gratefulness journal
  • On difficult, down days, look back at your gratefulness journal
  • Set reminders on your phone to be grateful before sleeping
  • Wake up with gratefulness in your mind
  • At the start of each day, do some appreciation and gratitude exercises with your family
  • Acknowledge the bad things that have happened but move forward with hope
  • Say thanks
  • Be grateful even for your negative experiences, realize that negative experiences strengthen you for the future
  • Use Eintstein’s approach: “Say thanks 100 times a day and spread around gratitude”
  • Focus on the positive priceless things that are happening in your life
  • Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and interrupt those negative thoughts
  • Create new positive patterns in your family’s life
  • Think back to a specific event where you can say “Thank goodness, that was close.”
  • Be thankful for the little achievements, don’t wait until you achieve what you want before being grateful
  • Being present and being in the moment, be grateful for “now”
  • Practice mindfulness, being grateful for your 5 senses and experiences
  • Surround your child with positive psychological influence from positive and moral children's books
Teaching Your Child To Be Grateful And Having Gratitude As A Parent

Here are the 20 habits for developing your child’s gratefulness:

  1. Find more moments to smile. It doesn’t have to be a wide grin, just a natural small grin will do. Then hold it, hold it for more than 20 seconds while feeling more elated and happy already. This attracts a more positive energy around you. You instantly change your biochemistry to make you feel more positive. It radiates outward towards the rest of your family when you look for the good things in your family.
  2. Go out of your way to find the good that everyone in your family is doing. Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence people suggests that we go out of our way to catch people doing something good. The same goes for our family. When you do this for your child, they too will grow up inheriting that behaviour for the rest of their life. This will help them become more successful wherever they go when they grow up because they can appreciate their friends and acquaintances better.
  3. Adopt a “There are you are!” mentality. There you are! Teaching your child to think not only of himself but also of the family, his friends, and other people will help him grow to be an appreciative person. Appreciating others is an excellent quality that will teach your child how to be grateful for other people. Dale Carnegie suggests having a “There you are!” mentality that focuses on others rather than a “Here I am!” mentality when we meet our friends and acquaintances.
  4. Keep a family gratefulness journal. Write down at the end of the day what makes you most grateful for and ask your family what they are grateful for. This helps everyone in your family sleep better and longer. According to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health, and Well Being in 2011 if you spend 15 minutes writing your segments of gratefulness before going to sleep you end up having better quality sleep.
  5. On difficult, down days, look back at your gratefulness journal. When you are feeling down because nothing seems to go right, go back through your family’s gratefulness journal and read the entries there. As your child grows up, give your child advice during his down moments to focus on the good things that happened to him rather than the bad things. Remind him to keep that gratefulness journal and to look back at those memories.
  6. Set reminders on your phone to be grateful before sleeping. For those who have known me for some time, you know that I recommend everyone to remind themselves how amazing they are. And this goes for gratitude as well. Remind yourself throughout the day to be thankful for something. And when you are dealing with something that is stressful at work or at home this is an effective way to improve your mood and pull you back to a place of positivity.
  7. Wake up with gratefulness in your mind. The moment that you wake up defines your day because this is the best time to declare what this day is going to be like for you. Do this with your family. Whether it’s gonna be a really great day or a really terrible day or just another uneventful day. Since you are in control of what type of energy you exude throughout the day, you basically got two choices of how you want to start your day. Either you can muster up the energy to drag yourself out of your bed anticipating all the dreadful things that await you at home, at work, or at school… Or you can take this chance to lift yourself up and give yourself some affirmation that this day is going to be great.
  8. At the start of each day, do some appreciation and gratitude exercises with your family. Personally I take this time to do some appreciation and gratitude exercises. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do this. Yes you can execute this at a different time of day. In fact, you really should if you could. But why is it particularly essential to do this in the morning? Because it’s the perfect time to create the overall tone or mood for the rest of your day. When you are able to expose your raw gratitude for something as simple as your soft sheets, the sunlight, the mild breeze in your face, a sense of thankfulness immediately fills your heart and mind. You almost instantly feel hope, peace, and excitement. This feeling of positivity reflect in all the choices that you make and all the interactions you will have during your day. Your loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, all classmates will look to you for inspiration. And as your day comes to an end yet again think again of all the great things that have happened both great and small.
  9. Acknowledge the bad things that have happened but move forward with hope. It is easy to get into a negative state when we try to focus on negative things and we begin to see the world through that filter. We see all the hatred, the corruption, we see darkness. And this has effects that go beyond mental and emotional aspects of our lives. Pessimistic people are more likely to experience chronic stress which increases cortisol levels and fosters in a whole new list of diseases. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have rather than complain. Developing an attitude of gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction in life.
  10. Say thanks. Kristi Ling, author of Empower Your Day recommends that we practice the three S’s: Smile, Say Thanks, and Set Intentions through goals. Smiling for more than 10 seconds has been proven to change your biochemistry. Smiling increases the levels of happy neurotransmitters within your brain such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonins which affects your mood making you feel more relaxed.
  11. Be grateful even for your negative experiences, realize that negative experiences strengthen you for the future. Gratitude, defined by the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary as a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you. Gratitude is often ignored in our society with most of us always on the run, we forget to appreciate everything that is happening around us. And this includes the experiences, circumstances, people and things we don’t like. It may sound silly, like why would you appreciate something that you hate right? Going back to the definition, gratitude is appreciating someone or something that has helped you. But how do annoying things help you? And why do we need to be thankful for them? These things that we find irritating helps us grow because in the future we will face more challenges like these. Circumstances that are difficult are brought into your life are there to make you stronger, help you gain wisdom, help you become a critical thinker, and help you understand differences of people. Thank all of these things. Bad things aren’t really bad things when you think about it because it’s just a matter of being grateful.
  12. Use Eintstein’s approach: Say thanks 100 times a day and spread around gratitude. Put gratitude in whatever you do. Albert Einstein said this of gratitude: “A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” Always start from a thankful standpoint. This will enable you to become more proactive and searching for answers.
  13. Focus on the positive priceless things that are happening in your life. Count not only the material things to be thankful for but also the priceless things to be grateful for such as being alive today, being able to spend time with your loved ones, and having the energy and health to accomplish your goals today. Be present and in the moment. When you are at work then you can focus and give 100% to working. When you are relaxing and having fun then stop worrying about work and relax and enjoy yourself.
  14. Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and interrupt those negative thoughts. Here’s something to think about: out of everything you’ve been doing today, at work, at home, in school, think of the many things you can complain about. You can probably think of 10 such as the weather perhaps. Maybe you’ve complained about how cold the weather is today. With all these things happening around us, we often fail to see what we are thankful for and expand our energy towards the things that will only make us feel worse. Write down the negative things you thought about and notice what triggered it. See the pattern of negative thoughts and you can start changing that pattern and replace it with a more positive one.
  15. Create new positive patterns in your family’s life. For example, if you or someone in your family feels depressed and your usual pattern is to eat delicious food that makes you gain weight, you can catch yourself when you are thinking depressed thoughts and do something positive. Get up from your chair or bed or couch then start moving around, start exercising, start doing chores to keep you busy. This creates new positive patterns in you and your family’s life. If you’re procrastinating on something, rather than dwell on your fears and worries and anxieties about the future, you can instead pick your most difficult task for the day and spend just 10 minutes to get that moving. Take baby steps rather than trying to finish everything in one go.
  16. Think back to a specific event where you can say “Thank goodness, that was close.” Think back to a specific event in your life that made you think “Thank goodness, that was close.” Remember holding on to a handrail of a staircase just in time to prevent yourself from what could have been a terrible fall. You quietly whisper Thank God, and that’s what it feels like to be grateful. A sudden mixture of nervousness, excitement, and happiness. These close encounters don’t happen all the time which is why we forget to be thankful. But it’s during these times that we get a clear understanding of what it’s like to feel lucky to be standing, to be safe, to be alive. And it is these small events that add up to the experience of being grateful for everything in our life. Yes, people are going to ask you “Why are you so damn grateful all the time?” as many perceive this as something juvenile, something naïve, something only an unrealistic person would do. When you are asked why you are grateful, answer them with “Why not?”
  17. Be thankful for the little achievements, don’t wait until you achieve what you want before being grateful. Some people think that they need to achieve something first before practicing gratitude. Many may think that achieving means big success, wealth, abundance, mansions, cars, expensive things. There’s some truths to that since we get to appreciate many things when we have reached those goals. But remember that every achievement no matter how small is an achievement nonetheless. So in order to get those big goals be thankful for those tiny ones you make along the way. Moreover gratefulness does not have to be determined by the amount of success one receives. All of the money and fame are just consolation prizes because no matter how you try to rationalize against it you cannot deny that the true prize is being alive.
  18. Being present and being in the moment, be grateful for “now”. When you are work, focus on work and give it your 100% and when you are relaxing and having fun forget about work and focus on just having fun. Wherever you are, focus on that thing that you’re doing. When you are with your family focus on just being there and listening to them and giving them 100% attention. You can close your electronic gadgets if you have to.
  19. Practice mindfulness, being grateful for your 5 senses and experiences. Notice the wonderful scent of fresh air that you breathe, the smell of pine trees and flowers, the feeling of walking barefoot on the grass, the smile on the face of your loved ones. The refreshing taste of clean water. A leaf as it dances in the wind. A thousand leaves swaying on the branches of a tree. Take time to pause and notice these things through all your five senses.
  20. Surround your child with positive psychological influence. One way to do this is by teaching your child through positive children's books and moral children's stories. Educate your child so he or she can make the right choices while growing up. The Academy For Health Superheros Book 1: The Heart is a good place to start. 

21 priceless things to be grateful for:

  1. Thank you for being alive
  2. Thank you for your family
  3. Thank you for your friends
  4. Thank you for all the things you learned in your life
  5. Thank you for all the growth you’ve personally experienced
  6. Thank you for the people who have made you feel important
  7. Thank you for the fun moments and the adventures you’ve gone to throughout your life
  8. Thank you for the loving moments throughout your life
  9. Thank you for having work and having the means to support your family
  10. Thanks for every breath that you take
  11. Thanks for the breeze on your face
  12. Thanks for your resilience and your ability to pick yourself up in difficult times
  13. Your loved ones are healthy
  14. Your body has the ability to heal
  15. You have time to exercise to heal and strengthen your body
  16. You have food that nourishes you
  17. The universe is supporting you so that you can live
  18. You have time to talk today with loved ones
  19. You have the energy to do what you want to do
  20. Thank you for a good night’s sleep
  21. Thanks for good dreams

Why Teach Your Children To Be Grateful?

Thankful people are successful people. Multiple studies have proven that experiencing gratitude positively impacts a person’s emotional, physical, and mental state and it increases their likelihood to achieve what they want in life. Gratitude and happiness are partners. Automatically, people who are grateful regularly are also reported to be happier. Research has shown that happiness is not entirely based on financial success, social status or age. There are just people who view life in a grateful perspective. And there are so many benefits to becoming more grateful. People who appreciate even the smallest victories tend to seek out bigger ones. They are more likely to solve problems and they see challenges as useful learning opportunities. Naturally grateful people are happier and they are better to hang around with. They are the best team mates as they are both supportive and productive. They attract not only important businesses and create relationships in their lives, they are also able to nurture lasting bonds with friends and loved ones.

Showing appreciation for friends and colleagues opens the door to deeper and stronger bonds with people. It helps you and your children gain new friends. A study published in Emotion in 2014 cites that thanking new acquaintances increases your likelihood to nurture ongoing relationships. When we are grateful we acknowledge the people around us for their efforts and contributions which may usher into new and exciting connections. Being more socially engaged, grateful people have a great sense of empathy towards others.

Grateful people are more helpful, more charitable, and less vengeful. A study done by the University of Kentucky suggests that people who are more grateful are less likely to act with aggressive behaviour even when hearing negative feedback. They are more charitable. They are more likely to help people around them. And they have a low desire to seek revenge. Helpful, kind, and charitable children are a blessing and it starts with you as the parent or guardian who is guiding them. There’s an online kindness community called www.Kindspring.org where countless people share their stories of kindness, helping, and charity while staying anonymous and without bragging. It’s a good way to appreciate the kindness and the hope that’s in our world today. You can also search for local groups that you and your family can volunteer in—it’s quality time and it will provide an experience that your whole family will never forget.

Your body reacts to your gratefulness as well. A study published in the Personality and Individual Differences shows that grateful people reportedly have lesser aches and pains and they also share that they have an overall feeling of health compared to their counterparts.

Stay healthy by being grateful. Being more thankful for their bodies, grateful people are also more likely to make efforts to stay healthy through regular exercise and proper nutrition which is also why multiple sources claim that the positive people live longer. We all know what stress can do to our body. Stress is normal but too much stress can lead to a long list of problems. Doctor Robert Emmons, a leading researcher in the topic of gratitude has completed studies linking gratitude to well being. Through his research we can confirm that gratitude reduces depression.

Counter stress with gratitude. A study published in Behavior Research and Therapy cites that Vietnam war veterans that had stronger feeling of gratitude experienced a decreased rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The attitude of gratitude plays an important role in developing other mental skills such as stress management and resilience, now having the ability to appreciate other people’s good qualities.

Develop self esteem and self confidence and become more successful in life. The attitude of gratitude also helps a person appreciate his or her own good qualities while addressing their weaknesses, which helps them establish a good sense of self. Good self esteem has been linked to success in life.

How To Be Grateful

So how do we go about being more grateful? There are numerous sources that provide gratefulness exercises. All of them aimed at boosting your sense of satisfaction and happiness and helping you develop this attitude so that you can fully utilize it in your life.

Gratefulness feels awesome, it makes your heart flutter, it gets you eager to get things done, it makes you feel happy and excited in spite of all the uncertainties lurking out there. Once you learn to be grateful for everything you become pumped up and you interact with people positively.

Take Action And Let Gratitude Be Part Of You And Your Family’s Life

My task for you my friends is I want you all to enjoy the benefits of gratitude and I hope you all attract abundance, love, and light into your lives. So for your task, I would like you to start being more thankful. Before going to sleep tonight, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down gratefulness segments. Begin it with the words “I am thankful for…” In fact, if you can get the hang of it and your heart starts swelling with feeling of appreciation you might need another piece of paper. When you wake up try to observe how you feel. Do you feel ready to face the day? For breakfast? Utter words of appreciation to your partner, appreciate how wonderful they are, and above all appreciate yourself for a job well done. To put everything into perspective for you, recall what it feels like to grab on something before you slip and fall. That’s the feeling of “Oh, thank goodness…”

Being alive and getting to experience all these things is awesome. Life is too short to waste on complaints and negative things so be grateful for everything that you have in your life and thank you everybody for reading this article. I am so grateful that you take the time to read my blog posts. And if you can, please share to your friends and your family all these things that we are giving to you.

Remember to start forming and to practice these habits from these principles that you learned, let those habits spread out to your family and your kids. Focus on developing one habit at a time and do it every day for 3 weeks, after that it becomes part of you and you no longer need to think about it because it naturally becomes part of your day. Remember the priceless things to be grateful for.

  • Find more moments to smile
  • Go out of your way to find the good that everyone in your family is doing
  • Adopt a “There you are!” mentality
  • Keep a family gratefulness journal
  • On difficult, down days, look back at your gratefulness journal
  • Set reminders on your phone to be grateful before sleeping
  • Wake up with gratefulness in your mind
  • At the start of each day, do some appreciation and gratitude exercises with your family
  • Acknowledge the bad things that have happened but move forward with hope
  • Say thanks
  • Be grateful even for your negative experiences, realize that negative experiences strengthen you for the future
  • Use Eintstein’s approach: “Say thanks 100 times a day and spread around gratitude”
  • Focus on the positive priceless things that are happening in your life
  • Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and interrupt those negative thoughts
  • Create new positive patterns in your family’s life
  • Think back to a specific event where you can say “Thank goodness, that was close.”
  • Be thankful for the little achievements, don’t wait until you achieve what you want before being grateful
  • Being present and being in the moment, be grateful for “now”
  • Practice mindfulness, being grateful for your 5 senses and experiences
  • Surround your child with positive psychological influence from positive and moral children's books

Here's some more resources for your child's positive mindset, health, and wellness:

• HSH Book 1 - The Heart - Motivational and education book for children with colourful illustrations. Includes simple recipes for healthy meals that young readers can make themselves.
• HSH Booklet - A workbook that educates while building emotional connection to a healthy and active lifestyle. With engaging stories and fun exercises that teach healthy nutrition, exercise, and explain how our brain and mind works.
• HSH Book 2 - Easy Breathing - A fantastic and engaging story that teaches your kids about how the lung functions and how the lungs also gets diseases. It also teaches children about the ecological problems that contribute to our health problems while showing the solutions that will lead to a better health and better future as the Health Superheroes travel across all continents to find a way to save a little boy who suffers with lung disease and to save the whole planet from pollution and climate change.
• Healthy Junkfood Monster Cookbook - Children can now prepare tasty and healthy foods that they'll love. They taste so good your kids will be surprised!
• Academy For Health Superheroes App - Our multi-sensory active learning system, allow children to absorb up to 90% of the information we teach them. It includes Books, Educations, Videos, and Recipes.
 Academy For Health Superheroes Videos - Watch free videos about Health, Exercise, and the secrets to your child's happiness.
• HSH on Amazon Paperback and Kindle Books - We are also available on Amazon for paperback and kindle available internationally.

References:

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