Teaching your child to say “thank you” was probably one of the first social rules you focussed on after becoming a parent. However, saying it and truly feeling it are two different things; gratitude goes deeper than the words we use. So, if you are wondering how you can reinforce the importance of gratitude, read on for some advice from an independent school in Surrey.
Point Out Acts of Kindness
Whenever you notice someone being kind, thoughtful, or generous, point it out to your child. Say things like “how nice was it that Grandma gave you some sweets today?” or “it was really kind of you to help me with the washing up today”. The trick is to help your child notice the little things that people do for each other each and every day so that they know what to be grateful for.
Say “Thank You” in Different Ways
There’s more to expressing gratitude than saying “thanks”. Perhaps you could encourage your child to write cards for everyone who attending their birthday party to demonstrate appreciation or give some flowers to their teacher at the end of the academic year to show they are grateful for all of the support they’ve received. Find some inventive and creative ways for your child to show their gratitude.
Encourage a Gratitude Journal
Provide your child with a pen and notepad and each night before bed, ask them to jot down some of the things they are grateful for that day, no matter how big or small. If they are unsure where to start, share some examples of your own, like a colleague making your coffee or someone picking up the groceries for you. The more often your child pays attention to the things they feel fortunate about, the more natural it will become.