Being thankful for things is a great trait to have. The good news is that it is a personality trait that can be taught. If you set good examples for your children and start off at a young age, you could help them become thankful and grateful for the gifts they receive, the friends they have and the things that happen to them.
There’s no time too early to teach please and thank you. If you keep saying “ta” and “please” when your children are still babies, they will learn that it is a word they must say.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly they pick it up. From there, it becomes second nature to be polite and well-mannered.
As they get older, they may wonder why they say please and thank you. Sit them down and explain how important good manners are.
You can start this from around two or three when they start talking and then keep reiterating it as they get older.
When they become teenagers they can lash out and go against you but by the time they become adults, those words you say will mean something to them.
Go through old toys with your children and encourage them to give some to charity. It doesn’t have to be a lot.
Pick toys that have been gently used—not the bear from when they were babies and still love today! You could also buy a new toy to give to a charity to show just how important giving is, as well as receiving gifts.
You want to practise gratitude on a daily basis. You could make it a task to think of 10 things that you are thankful for throughout the day—not all to be done at once!
Whenever they think of something, they can put a coin in a piggy bank or something to make it mean something to them. This soon becomes habit and something they will teach their children.
As your children get older, it’s time to let them know the facts so they are thankful for the simplest things in life. Tell them about the children in your own country who can’t afford to eat.
Tell them about the people on the street who have nowhere else to go. Don’t scare them but let them know that there are people out there who don’t have a roof, food or warm bed to sleep in.
There are times that you can’t thank people in person. Get into the habit of sending out thank you notes or get in touch via the phone.
Children can write the note themselves or draw a picture as a thank you. It goes a long way and people know that you appreciate the thing that they have given you.