Gratitude can be a difficult concept to teach your little ones but it is also considered to be one of the most fundamental traits a person can possess. Going beyond manners, gratitude helps children live happier, more satisfied lives and enjoy higher levels of self-esteem, optimism, and increased empathy towards others. Children that aren’t thankful can begin to develop feelings of entitlement and disappointment when they don’t obtain what they want. Here at the Nanny Authority, we understand the importance of thankfulness and encourage our nannies to practice various tips and strategies that assist in incorporating gratitude into our kids’ lives. These suggestions include:
Lead by example
Children learn from the parents and caregivers in their lives and must have strong and capable role models to take after. These role models include grandparents, teachers, and caregivers so parents need to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to teaching the child appropriate values and behaviors to follow. Families should work gratitude into daily interactions and allow your children to hear you say “thank you,” even for the most mundane of tasks. It’s also important to integrate a time into your child’s day to say “thank you.” An effective time for sharing feelings of appreciation can be at the dinner table or at bedtime.
Simple household chores
Household chores can serve as an effective tool at helping children learn responsibility and self-reliance. A number of studies have indicated that young adults who began chores at the age of 3 or 4 were likelier to have better relationships with family and friends and achieve academic success. There are a number of age-appropriate chores for toddlers, such as putting away toys or clothes in the hamper. Additional ways to incorporate chores into your child’s life can be found here.
Sense of perspective
Nowadays, kids enjoy a wealth of possessions without knowing the hard work that his or parents underwent to purchase them. If your child collects an allowance or has a part-time job, encourage them to chip in toward future purchases. This will foster a healthy sense of perspective and teach children to be appreciative of his or her belongings.
Give back to the community
Additional ways to instill a sense of gratitude in your child’s life is to teach him or her how to donate to local groups. With the assistance of his or her caregiver, children can assemble care packages for the military or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. Giving back can also mean helping out an elderly neighbor or volunteering at the school book drive.
Handwritten thank-you notes can brighten up anyone’s day. Children can write letters to grandparents, nannies or caregivers, teachers, and others who have provided assistance to them rather than waiting and sending one when he or she receives a present.
Practice saying no
Parents often feel guilty for saying “no” to his or her child but they shouldn’t; it’s part of the job description to ensure that you raise well-adjusted, respectful children. It’s important that adults assert his or her authority by setting limits as it can only benefit the child in the long run. Oftentimes, kids will attempt to manipulate a guardian’s feelings of guilt and discomfort but parents should avoid falling into the trap and refuse to feed that type of behavior. Additional tips on raising grounded children can be found here.
Nowadays, most children enjoy a wealth of possessions without being aware of how hard parents worked to obtain them. Use gifts as a learning lesson for them. The old adage, “tis better to give than to receive” is relevant for a reason. Teach your children to be charitable with their time and possessions. Perhaps some of the toys that aren’t played with can be distributed at a shelter.
Discussing gratitude is also a good opportunity to discuss areas of improvement. Younger children have a harder time grasping concepts such as “starting anew” so it’s up to the parents to break it down into simpler terms. Talk about age-appropriate resolutions with children and how implementing changes or adjustments can lead to becoming a better person.
The Nanny Authority Difference
Since parents can’t always shadow their children to ensure that they’re doing the right thing, it’s important that we pay attention to the role models our kids are interacting with on a daily basis. Here at the Nanny Authority, our nannies are reputable and committed to helping you raise grounded, respectful, and kind children who will be compassionate toward other people. Contact us at 973-466-2669 for more information today.