By: Krystle Crossman
We see videos online all the time of children opening presents on the holidays and crying or throwing a fit because the present is not the high-tech toy that they wanted. They throw the book that you have given them across the room in frustration instead of being thankful that they got something instead of nothing. Being grateful is something that can be taught. Here are some ways that you can teach your child gratitude each and every day:
1. When your child is overwhelmed try to redirect their focus. If they are opening a bunch of presents and are becoming overwhelmed tell them that they are done opening presents for them moment and have them do something like play “Santa’s elf” and pass out presents to others or give out party favors. This will help them to focus on something else.
2. Teach them about giving to others. If they are at the store and bug you for a candy bar try not to give in every time as they will expect it every time. But now and then buy two of the candy bars and tell them that they are going to give the other one away. This will teach them to share and will also show them that giving to others is important as well.
3. Shopping is fun. Whether it is online or in the store it is fun to go shopping and buy things. But if you are always bragging about your new purchases or spending a lot of money in front of them they will learn that material things are more important than other things in life.
4. Don’t shame them when they are acting spoiled. Stop with the phrases such as “there are little kids all over the world that would love this toy” or “stop being so selfish”. Kids take punishment and shaming to heart and can make them want to continue the behavior as an act of defiance.
5. Do not spoil them. Spoiling a child will teach them that they can get whatever they want in life. Treats or special gifts every now and then are great, but don’t overdo it.
6. Understand that they are children and are always going to want new things. They see advertisements for new shiny toys on television and can’t help but to want it. Tell them that they can earn money to buy it themselves or put it on a birthday list instead of running out and buying it for them.
7. Bring them somewhere where people are giving to others less fortunate. They will see that giving is a good thing and they will also learn how to be thankful for what they have and will learn to be thankful for anything that they get.