Related: Teaching your kids to have a thankful and grateful heart is about so much more than just being polite and having manners. Learn why teaching your kids to be thankful and grateful is preparing them for a life of happiness.
Have you ever watched a child open a gift for their birthday or Christmas only to quickly toss it aside without so much as a second thought? To make matters worse, they never even look at the card.
Or how about never playing with an item they received from their wishlist and watching it collect dust?
I have… and I am ashamed to admit this was once my child.
The last thing I want as a parent is to raise ungrateful children. After bearing witness to my child’s selfish behavior, I made it a point to learn how to raise my children to have more of a thankful and grateful heart.
When you teach your children to have thankful and grateful hearts, you’re teaching them an important life skill that will enable them to become well-rounded adults later in life.
The Importance Of Having A Thankful And Grateful Heart?
In an ever-growing, fast-paced society, one thing that cannot be overlooked is the importance of teaching kids to have thankful and grateful hearts. Gratitude is one commodity that we can never have enough of these days.
There are many reasons why teaching children to have gratitude is essential. Teaching kids to have a thankful and grateful heart is about so much more than just being polite and having manners, and here’s why…
Changes your focus
Life revolves around focus. Whatever we’re focused on is what we tend to gravitate towards. If you’re focused on negativity, you’ll find it everywhere. Whereas if you focus on gratitude and positivity, you’ll discover an abundance of it. Having a positive outlook on life is just as easy as having a negative one. It all comes down to focus.
Teaching kids to have thankful and grateful hearts will enable them to focus on the positive things in their lives and always see the silver lining, even in challenging situations.
Improves your quality of life
Mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health can be improved simply by being grateful and thankful. Studies have shown that gratitude is significantly linked to a person’s happiness and satisfaction with their life.
People who are grateful for the things that they have in life, rather than focusing on what they don’t have, are much more content with their life.
It’s important to teach kids to be grateful for the things they do have, not the things they don’t have. This will, in turn, improve the quality of their quality of life regardless of income, career, car, or house.
Children should understand that being grateful is about much more than material possessions or large sums of money so they can have a good quality of life.
Makes you happier
Being happy is a lot easier when you’re grateful. In a Harvard psychological study, two groups of people were asked to write a few sentences every week. The difference was that one had to write about things that made them happy while the other wrote about things that didn’t make them happy.
The results showed that those who wrote about the things they were grateful for were happier and more optimistic about their lives.
Teaching kids to have thankful and grateful hearts will help kids live happier lives and have a far more positive and optimistic outlook on their lives.
Another reason it’s essential to teach kids to have thankful and grateful hearts is that it reduces fear. It’s hard to be both fearful and grateful at the same time! Kids feel fear when left to think about topics they think are out of their control.
By being thankful and grateful, there’s little room for fear.
By being grateful, kids will not worry about what they don’t have or might not have in the future. By merely having gratitude on a daily basis, children will be able to get rid of most of their fears.
Helps you achieve your goals
Goal setting can enable you to achieve anything you set your mind to, and kids need to know that there’s no limit to what they can accomplish. Being thankful and grateful helps you to achieve your goals by internally setting you up for success.
If you lack gratitude, it can make you unhappy, which in turn makes it harder for you to push forward and achieve your goal.
By teaching kids to have thankful and grateful hearts, you enable them to have a positive outlook needed to keep persevering. This will, in turn, support them in achieving anything they set their minds to.
Thankful And Grateful Activities For Kids
Having a thankful and grateful heart is about changing thought habits. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. You can easily help children shift from a negative to a positive outlook by encouraging them to be grateful on a daily basis.
Here are some easy thankful and grateful activities for kids:
- Write in a gratitude journal – before they go to bed each night, have them write one thing that they’re grateful for. Download my FREE Kids Gratitude Journal Printable below.
- Make a gratitude jar – a few times a week, encourage them to write one thing they’re thankful for on a piece of paper, and put it into a jar.
- Volunteer at local charities or food pantries with your children.
- Read stories about gratitude to your children.
- Model what gratitude and thanks look like to your child.
- Participate in random acts of kindness.
- Donate – by doing things for charity and giving to those less fortunate, kids will be able to see what they have, as opposed to what they don’t, and be thankful for it.
- Write thank-you notes – encouraging kids to write thank-you notes after birthdays and Christmas will help them to see and appreciate what they do have and show their gratitude for it.
We Need More Thankful and Grateful Kids
There can never be too many thankful and grateful kids in the world. We need more thankful and grateful kids so that later down the line, we will have more grateful adults in the world. People with positive and optimistic attitudes will make the world a better place.
Teaching kids to have thankful and grateful hearts will enable them to be happier, have a better quality of life, focus on the things that give them joy, abolish their fear, and achieve their goals.
Happiness is infectious.
Having more grateful and thankful kids will make everyone around them more joyful.
Encourage your kids to be grateful with simple activities that get them to focus on the things they do possess as opposed to the things they don’t. Having gratitude is not something that will happen overnight, but it is a way of thinking that children should be encouraged to practice.
How do you teach your kids to have thankful and grateful hearts? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below.