Teaching my kids gratitude is very important to me. It starts from a very early age. In today’s world, I feel it is even more important to teach children gratitude. Social media influences kids even more and can teach them to be someone they aren’t. Here is how I am teaching my kids gratitude.
It Starts at A Young Age
From a young age, it’s important to show gratitude and compassion in others. We are all human and have feelings. People go through different situations in their lives that can make them stronger or break them, in some instances. However, what you are taught as a child is ingrained in you forever. Of course, as you get older, you take with you, what you. believe in, as an adult.
As a kid, I always used to volunteer at my local soup kitchen. It opened my eyes, to how many people are actually homeless. Volunteering teaches kids compassion and see the world in a different way. Not everyone that is homeless has an addiction or is a criminal. When you think about it, anyone could become homeless overnight. I follow a few different youtube channels geared to advocating to help the homeless. Invisible People is one my favorite channels. The interviewer speaks with the homeless and asks how they got into that situation. Some say just a few words, while others are okay sharing their life stories in just a short clip.
Donating is by far something anyone can do, even when you don’t have the time. Instead of throwing clothes away, consider donating them. There are plenty of organizations that take donations. There are drop off bin locations, your local salvation army and even pick up service! Not all organizations give directly to those in need. Some sell the donated items and then a portion of the proceeds go to those in need. Other organizations keep certain items and the rest may end up in landfills. It is important to do your research!
An easy way to teach children to donate, is to start off with their toys. Most of the time they have a few favorites and forget about the rest of the toys. They never play with them but still don’t want to part with them. The perfect time to do so is right before Christmas or any holiday where there are gifts involved. I emphasize to my children how lucky they are to have everything. By everything I mean a roof over their heads, transportation, food and just about anything they want. Not all children have that luxury, which is why it is important to donate to those who need it most. Besides, Santa will bring new toys and clothes! My kids actually look forward to doing this. This also declutters your home!
By taking these small steps, you are teaching your children to be grateful for what they have, become generous and non judgemental to those who are less fortunate. We are all human and we are all at different stages in our lives, whether in a good or bad situation. Repetition is a must. Kids can forget how lucky they are. A nice reminder when they are being ungrateful or upset over something silly, gets the point across.
How do you teach your children to be grateful?