|Jennifer Griffin, Jennifer Griffin Photography|
With the Holidays right around the corner, we often tend to forget why we celebrate this special time of year. Lately it seems to be more about gifting than actually spending time with the ones we love. I am a young parent, and I know I don't do everything to "parent" code. But I do know that I want my children to be raised with a grateful heart. Because gratefulness is ultimately happiness. If you are grateful for what you have, you will never feel the need for more. An insatiable appetite will never be happy, because they will never feel full, but a grateful heart is a happy heart. So let's instill gratefulness in our children, so they can ultimately live fuller and happier lives. Here are 5 tips to instill gratefulness in your child's life now:
1. Manners - Manners is a great place to start. "Please" and "Thank you" are great words to start practicing in your young child's life. They may not quite understand why they say these words when they ask or receive something, but over time they will. These words are the start to building humility with your child, and will go far throughout their adult life.
2. Practice what you Preach - Show your child gratefulness. Modeling behavior is the best way to teach you child. If someone gives you something, take the time to write a thank you card or make a phone call. Explain to your child why you do those things because you are thankful, and they will want to start wanting to do them too.
3. Power of Prayer - We tend to get so caught up in our busy lives, that we actually forget to pray with our children. How sad is that? You can pray with your child any time you like. In the car, before a meal, bath time or even at bedtime; It's a great opportunity to hear what they are grateful for. Taylor and I have a list of people we pray for at bedtime, and it literally brings me to tears to hear how she cares for so many people.
4. Acts of Service - Encourage your child and your family to get involved in a new holiday tradition. One year, my sister invited me to serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Charlotte Rescue Mission downtown. Hundreds of people who didn't have a Thanksgiving meal showed up, and my family and I served them. It was one of the most rewarding days of my life. It put a lot of things into perspective for me, and how blessed and fortunate we are to be able to have Thanksgiving, let alone a meal with the ones we love.
5. Start a New Tradition - This Christmas, start a new tradition. Encourage your child to round up his/her toys that they no longer use and donate them to a local shelter or Goodwill. Not only will the act of giving be good for your child, but it will clear up some space in your home, for new toys from Santa. Your child will love the feeling of helping others.
What family traditions or tips do you implement in your family that help teach your child gratefulness?