As a parent, I want to raise my daughter to have an attitude of gratitude. But teaching toddlers at a young age to be grateful can be a challenge when they are at a stage when they tend to be self-centred and believes that the whole world resolves around them especially if they are the only child or grandchild.
When Sophie was younger, we spared no expenses to lavish on her toys and presents, new clothes, books, and even holidays. This stems partly from the fact that we were both working parents who spend very limited time with her on weekdays. As much as I try to deny it, I did fall into the guilty working mum trap and tried to compensate my lack of quantity time with her with gifts.
Last year, we came to a point where we did some evaluation and decided that she doesn’t need our presents as much as she needed our presence. So we had a no gift rule at Christmas and explained to her how blessed she is and even made her pack some of her toys and clothes to donate it to the needy. This helped her to learn to be sensitive to the needs of others, develop empathy and appreciation for the things that she is blessed with.
As the only child, the last thing we want for Sophie is to feel a sense of entitlement where she will always receive everything she wants. What’s why, tears and tantrums don’t work and I’ve developed a thick skin to avoid passer bys dagger stares. After all, she has to learn how to face rejection or disappointment when things don’t land on her lap. And I’m a huge believer that we are our child’s greatest role model.
If you want grateful kids, model gratefullness.
Other ways, we teach Sophie gratitude is when we say our prayers. After all, we have so much to be thankful for each day if we only took the time to count our blessing.
I always beam with pride whenever I hear Sophie’s childcare teachers praise her for being a helpful girl who offers to help the teachers and her friends.
This is my first scrapbook layout that I made for Sophie and my prayers for her is to always remember how tremendously blessed she is and that she can be a blessing to others too.
How are you raising your kids to be grateful? I’ll love to hear from you.
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