Fostering An Attitude of Gratitude Part 2

Yesterday’s post shared 3 ways to foster an attitude of gratitude with your children. Today’s post shares 3 more ideas…

Avoid¬†Making¬†Comparisons – Sometimes when we want¬†our kids¬†to appreciate what they have, we tell them about children who have very few material things. We might say something along the lines of “you’re lucky to have so many nice toys…there are some children who don’t have any toys”. Although I wonder if statements like this actually ¬†have the opposite effect? When we compare ourselves to others we are ranking or judging one situation to be the “better” than the other. If we encourage children to engage in this type of comparing of material possesions, they may begin¬†to compare themselves to those with more than them and feel “unlucky” or unappreciative of what they have.

Write Thank You Notes – Growing up I always had to write thank you notes whenever I got a gift from someone.¬†It became so ingrained in me that¬†I still do it to this day…and not via email or facebook. I hand-write old fashion thank you letters and send them in a stamped envelope through snail mail.¬†I have started the same tradition with my own children. Whenever they get a gift from someone, big or small, we make a thank you card together to send to the¬†person who¬†gave them the gift.¬†I think it instills in¬†them the importance of acknowleding the generousity of others and¬†provides a concrete¬†way to express gratitude.

Spread Kindness – Kindness and gratitude often go hand in hand. When¬†we are¬†kind-spirited and generous to others,¬†we¬†feel¬†good about our place and purpose in the world.¬†We are¬†less apt to focus on¬†consuming and more intent on giving.¬†Often we gain¬†a sense of deep fulfillment from giving to others whereas obtaining new “things” seems to yield a never-ending quest for more. It definitely is¬†a conscious shift in mindset to approach day to day life in terms of giving rather than receiving. Children from a very young age can be encouraged to spread kindness to others. For example you could teach them to¬†hold the door for someone or help someone pick up something they dropped. Abundant, yet simple opportunities for spreading kindness are presented to us daily. If we teach children to be cognizant of these opportunities and act accordingly, it will become second nature to them to be considerate¬†to¬†the needs of others around them.¬†Gracious behavior¬†provokes a compassionate heart. When we live compassionately, gratitude innately exists.

What random act of kindness have you engaged in recently? I would love to hear about it!

-Sarah

PS. Tomorrow¬†we’ll¬†discuss the second¬†Attachment Parenting International Principle: Feeding with Love and Respect.

 

Tags: attitude of gratitude, fulfillment, generousity, spread kindness

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