How to Make Sure Your Children Remain Grateful


Raising kids who are well-behaved, kind, and generous is the goal of most parents. We don’t want to raise little jerks who make people miserable and amount to nothing, after all. But we do want to raise children who are grateful and happy, children who are kind and intelligent, and children who make us proud. It sounds pretty simple, and we all think we are doing that until that one moment our kids make us realize that we are not, in fact, teaching our kids to remain grateful. Sure, they are happy when they are presented with something they love and want, but how long does that grateful feeling last? Not all that long, to be honest. I thought my husband and I were doing an amazing job raising grateful children until recently when a comment made by our 6-year-old made us take a step back and rethink our role as parents.

Our daughter broke her tablet dropping it on the tile in the kitchen after being warned repeatedly not to walk around with it, but to sit down and play with it. When we got onto her for not listening to the rules and doing exactly what she was informed not to do, she said to us, “It’s okay, mommy and daddy, you can just buy me a new one. Can we go to the store now or do we have to wait?” It was at that moment we realized perhaps our children are not all that grateful, but more entitled. We had to take a minute to realize that kids today are used to something we were not as kids; convenience. If something breaks or needs repair, we can handle it in minutes via the internet. We get what we want right now without having to wait, and that’s dangerous for our kids to see. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few ways we can raise more grateful kids.

Teach Kids to Say Thank You

Kids need to understand that saying thank you is always appropriate, even when they’re not feeling it. Kids are not very easily capable of understanding why someone would give them something they didn’t want in lieu of something they did want and they are prone to point that out. Your job is to make sure that kids learn to say thank you for all things given to them whether they like it or not, because to someone else, they’ve done something nice.

Be an Example

Your kids learn more from watching you than they do listening to you. Instead of griping when someone gives you something you didn’t want, or doesn’t do what you want or when things don’t go your way, show appreciation. Be a good example of a grateful person. This means thanking your mother-in-law for the heinous lamp she just knew you’d love and not letting your kids see that you hate it. If it falls and breaks into a million pieces later – oops.

Teach Kids to the Value of a Dollar

Grateful kids know that money does not grow on trees. Once they are forced to buy something they really want with their own money, they will learn to determine what it is they really do want and just how hard it is to part with their funds. They’ll also appreciate it a lot more since that’s all they are getting.

Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images


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