A common lament these days is that America’s kids are self-indulgent and don’t know how to be grateful. Research shows that the lack of gratitude for kids is coming “straight from the top” because they’re mirroring the privileged viewpoint of their parents.
That opinion is gaining credence due to research from the British Journal of Social Psychology. Their report stated that only “20% of American adults rated gratitude as a constructive and useful emotion.” With 8 out of 10 grownups not rating this essential virtue highly, it’s easy to see why kids are following the suit.
Parents Take the Blame and Receive the Praise for Grateful Children
Building a vibrant grateful personality is a bonus for a child. Parents who are looking to help their offspring achieve their goals will instill self-discipline at a young age.
So where does gratitude for kids start? Like many virtues, the origins of a grateful attitude easily trace to parents.
Set a Fantastic Example
Never question your influence on your children! Set the right example for them, and they will follow. That means raising grateful children requires you displaying signs of gratitude yourself. Here are a few things you can to build up the virtue in yourself and your offspring.
It pays to “smell the roses” by practicing the act of appreciation for all the good things in your life.
Don’t assume gratitude comes naturally. You’ll need to practice it all the time for it to become a habit in your family life. To instill gratefulness, have your children tell you the things that they appreciate the most before tucking them in for the night.
Lead by example and watch the seed of gratefulness grow exponentially in your family’s lives.
Neglect Discipline at Your Risk
Disciplining is children is never the “fun part” of parenting. Many caretakers struggle with setting limits and restricting their kid’s activities. That’s a far cry from the attitude expressed by Fred Rogers, who said, “I think of discipline as the continual everyday process of helping a child learn self-discipline.”
Without parental discipline, a child may struggle with self-mastery, coping mechanisms, and self-control. Parents who want their children to achieve goals know that personal development starts at home.
Unleash the Benefits of Raising a Child with Thankfulness and Gratefulness
Although the child may not understand the importance of appreciation when they are young, these teachings make them happier and well-adjusted adults later in life.
Grateful children benefit from a well-developed ability to express gratitude and thankfulness. The list of positive associations with gratitude is nearly endless and includes sleeping better, being happier, and being more pleased about self-image and life outlook. Lack of these virtues can result in a plethora of ills.
Parents are well-served to raise children who actively thank others and are genuinely grateful for all the fantastic things in their lives. Parents are more concerned than ever before for their children’s futures. Building a solid foundation that yields enormous psychological, emotional, and social benefits is a smart parental decision.