• Do you desire to raise children who see the good in life?
• Is it your desire to raise children who experience all-round success?
• Would you be happy to observe your children celebrate life and live expecting the best?
• Would it please you to see your children live appreciative of who they are and what they have?
• Do you desire to raise children who celebrate others and seek to give back to the world?
If you’ve answered yes to all the questions above, then I believe the next question to ask is this: In what ways are you instilling the virtue of gratitude in your children?
Research and life experiences have proven this law of gratitude to be true: the more grateful we are, the more blessings to be grateful for we receive. And this holds true for children and adults.
Based on studies conducted, it’s been proven that grateful kids are happier and more satisfied with their lives, develop better relationships with friends and family, perform better academically and have fewer tendencies for materialism, envy, unhealthy comparison, and depression. They have better capacity to show empathy and have a desire to give back to the society.
The benefits of grooming children in the art of gratitude cannot be overemphasized. More so, it’s not enough to tell them the things to be grateful for, we can take it a step further by helping them to think about the things they can be grateful for. And, there’s no better time to do this than now as we gradually approach the end of another year. It’s good to help children reflect on the goodness they have enjoyed this year and all the many things they can be grateful for.
Below are different categories of blessings your children can be grateful for.
All the Things They Didn’t Have to Pay For
Get them to list all the things they didn’t have to pay for- and in your child’s case this is a lot (most at your expense) But there are some that have nothing to do with you- the air they breathe, the blood flowing in their bodies, the sun and its life-enriching benefits, rain, etc.
You can provide them with a list of I’m grateful for….. and they can fill in the blanks as they think of these things. This list can be hung in their rooms or where they can see it, as a reminder of all the blessings they can be grateful for.
All the Things That Kept them Alive
Get them to think about all the things that work to keep them alive- the organs of their bodies, food, water, air, etc. Don’t restrict them, let them list as many things as they like, even if some seem ridiculous to you. It’s not about you, it’s about them…
All The Things/People That Kept them Safe & Comfortable
Get them to think about all the people and things that have kept them safe and comfortable- a house to live in, clothing, parents, teachers, siblings, etc.
All The Things That Have Made them Happy
Get them to think about all the things that made them happy- friends, parents, toys, games, fun trips, food, visits, cartoons, etc. They can be grateful for each and every of these things.
Everything Used This Year
This might be a mighty long list. It might even be impossible to list all these things, but the essence is to help them realise just how much they have been blessed with. The list could include books, stationeries, toiletries, home equipment, etc.
Everything They Have
This is simply taking stock with gratitude, helping them realise that it is a blessing to have all they possess. Every item owned is a blessing to be grateful for.
Yeah, all of these would be a long list of things to be grateful for, but the effort is worth it, as it would help them feel good about themselves and life.
We can’t afford to raise children who are disgruntled about living. We are raising children who are quick to see the many ways they have been blessed. Life is full of blessings to be treasured and grateful for. Training them to focus on the blessings of life is an inestimable gift, for indeed what we focus on expands. Empower them to focus on blessings, and consequently they will see it expand in their lives.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Goldenkb