Inculcating a sense of gratitude

We want our kids to be happy. We go an extra mile to see that smile on their face. All of us are like genies for our babies. They wish it and we make it come true irrespective of our dwindling finances plenty of times. That’s what we live for, ‘to watch our kids in good spirits all the Way’.

This is one aspect of the parenthood. What about the other? Are we teaching them to practice gratitude besides getting their desires fulfilled? Are they thankful enough for what they have and keep getting? There is a rare likelihood, especially in the kids of this generation.

I know and have seen kids throwing tantrums each time they receive a present which they don’t like. They cry, howl right in front of the person who gave them that gift. They don’t even wait till he leaves. Now that’s rude and disappointingly mean on their part. This is where we as parents need to barge in. We can’t go on satisfying ourselves that they’ll learn as they grow up. They won’t till we don’t teach them to respect others and be thankful for what they have!

Take them to slums to make them realise what abundance they’ve been blessed with. Make them visit an orphanage to help them understand how it feels to live without family. Organise a trip to the countryside so they can see the resources they have at their disposal in the cities.

As parents we have way more responsibilities towards our kids than providing them with everything we can. Nobody else is going to shape the way they think and react but us. We need to use this opportunity wisely since our children will always be judged on the basis of their behaviour and attitude in life.

Remember one thing, the more we give them, lesser grateful they’d keep becoming. All this is only going to make them more demanding and greedy. Gratitude doesn’t mean saying a mere ‘Thank You’, there’s a lot more to it. It’s ones lifestyle and mindset. One should be thankful from heart and this sense develops over years. We need to work on our kids right from the beginning.

Being thankful for what they have would make the lives of our children happier and full of satisfaction as well as optimism. Once they understand that what they own is because of others, they’d learn to appreciate togetherness and interdependence in families. Don’t make them materialistic even if you are rolling in money.

Teach them to live with love for everyone around them. Tell them that everything they feel they are entitled to, has to be earned. They need to value money and more than that, value people.

To start with, share a thanksgiving moment with your kids everyday where each member in the family speaks about a thing or two he is thankful for. It can be getting good marks, a family member who spoke good about you or may be the food you shared with your friend. This will not only usher optimism but would help inculcate a sense of gratitude in the children.

Start making them save the money they get as a present or pocket money to buy the things they really want.

Set the right example in front of the kids by treating everyone respectfully.

Guide them to pray every night before sleeping and thanking God for the beautiful life they’ve been blessed with.

Raise your kids to be thankful for all the gifts they’ve unwrapped so far instead of demanding the next new thing.

This thanksgiving, be grateful and start putting a little effort to harmonize your kids with the things that matter- family, love and friendship!