This is a great week to think about how to instill gratitude in your child. Gratitude is key if you want your child to live a life of contentment that’s focused more on others than himself. It might be hard to imagine your 13-year-old who complains about every little thing actually living a life of gratitude and service, but it’s not impossible.
Trust me, no matter how stubborn or self-centered your child is right now, she can learn to be grateful.
This week on my Parenting Great Kids podcast, I talk about the importance of teaching gratitude and service to your children, and specifically about my recent trip to Bolivia with one of my favorite organizations, Food For The Hungry.
When it comes to instilling a life-long sense of gratitude in your child, keep the following in mind.
Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to our kids.
As a parent, you’ve probably noticed this. Gratitude is not a child’s natural tendency. But this isn’t your child’s fault; it’s simply how children develop. We are wired to be egocentric, especially when we’re young. To children, it feels like the world revolves around them. Their needs are what they think of, not others’, so they don’t think to be grateful for what they have.
This is important to know about your child because it means you’re going to have to make an intentional effort to teach your kids to be grateful. It’s not going to just happen. Parents who want to teach gratitude TO their kids must first model gratitude FOR their kids.