We live in a day and age where we have an overwhelming amount of things. Sometimes it’s super hard to be grateful for what you have, and be grateful for the things someone does for you rather than buys for you. For tiny humans that is just the same, especially after December when they usually get an enormous amount of things that they don’t even know what to do with.
I get it, I love buying presents for loved ones, but I’ve come to realise over the years that the most important thing is my relationship with the person, I want to give a gift to, and my time with them, no present can substitute that. So, I wanted to write down a few ways we can practice gratitude on a daily basis with children. It does matter what we instil in their little minds from early on, what patterns we shape, so I think this will be a good thing to do all year around, but especially around and after holidays.
The Gratitude Game
The game needs ideally three or more players and one person to serve as a timekeeper. Have everyone sit in a circle with one person starting off saying, “I am grateful for [fill in the blank].” That person has five seconds to come up with something for which they are thankful, whether it be their favourite stuffed animal, food or activity. As soon as the first person finishes, the person to the left goes. “The key is to say what you are grateful for without repeating, and without pausing for more than five seconds,” by Lennay Chapman.
Every night before or after bedtime story we can say what we are grateful for. This makes for a nice finish to the day and leaves us feeling good and happy.
Be Thankful for Others’ Hard Work
Teaching your children to be thankful for the hard work everyone put into making the life easier and happier for us is crucial to raising unspoiled children. No matter how many staff you have at home teaching children to appreciate what everyone does for them is just right.
Random Acts of kindness
Being nice and kind in never overrated. Teaching by example and letting children know that just doing a small thing like helping an older lady with the groceries or picking something someone lost and give it to them can make their whole day and change the world for better. That might sound silly but that is exactly how we start, with small things in our community.
Say Thank you and Mean It
We throw thank you around a lot, but do we really mean it? Maybe say thank you less but when you do, really mean it. When we teach children to say thank you, let them say it in a full sentence like: ‘Thank you daddy for repairing this for me’. That way ‘thank you’ is not just a word, but a mean to let someone know they appreciate them.
Think of Others
Do small things/surprises for your loved ones, like buy their favourite fruit, make a card, make the bed or clean the office and involve kids in it. Ask them what they think would make someone happy.
There is really many many ways we can practice gratitude with kids and create a happy life. I hope this will give you some ideas and bring you joy while doing it. I would love to hear how are you practising gratitude? Let me know in the comments!
The Lovely Nanny xx
P.S. I originally wrote this blog post for blog of a lovely Nanny from Australia that live and works in London.