7 Simple Ways to Raise a Grateful Child

BY: - 1 Jan '14 | Parenting

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As adults, most of us understand what it’s like to be appreciative for what we have. Most likely, you’re trying to raise your child to become conscious and aware of how blessed and fortunate they really are. I’ve been working on my children and I’m happy to share 7 simple ways to raise a grateful child.

1. Lead by example. In any and every social setting, especially in front of your children, show gratitude. A simple “please” or “thank you” speaks volumes. Say it to them as often as you can. If they see you doing it [repeatedly], they will do the same. Also, remember to never diss or talk bad about a gift someone gives you that you may not have liked. They are watching this too!

2. Community service. If your children have never performed any community service, they should. Serving others is a first-hand experience with giving your time and talents to someone else as a blessing. My children have said to me several times, unsolicited, how appreciative they are for the life that they have, as they could very well be on the receiving end of those services.

3. Set expectations. Whether its a trip to the store, or a birthday or Christmas, set limits about what is to be expected when shopping and buying gifts. If you choose to, as the child grows older, you can use key words when shopping like, “Today is ‘buy’ day.” or “Today is just a ‘look’ day.”  The key to this and most anything is consistency.

4. Give give give. Make giving a habit. When my children’s toy boxes and closets begin to spill over, we don’t just grab and bag things up, we TALK to them about what’s happening. We explain to them that their older clothes and toys would be much more appreciated by someone less fortunate. As I like to tell my kids when I am purging their items, “It’s time to make room for more blessings.”

5. Make gratitude a BIG DEAL. I wrote an article once called The Jar of Awesome. In January, you start out with an empty jar and fill it with notes about all of the awesome things that happened to you throughout the year. Then, on New Year’s Eve next year, open it up and reflect on all of the awesome things that happened to you. This is great for singles, couples, as well as families. Give it a try!

6. Take every opportunity to show them how blessed they are. If you happen to see someone on the corner holding a “WILL WORK FOR FOOD” sign or on the sidewalks panhandling, seize this moment to talk to your children about how fortunate they are to have food, clothing, shelter, etc.

7. Be patient. Children grow and develop at their own pace. Seeing the results that we want may not happen as quickly as we might wish. So, it’s always best to start working on shaping and grooming our babies as soon as possible.

BMWK – How do you teach your child to be grateful?

About the author

Sheree Adams wrote 117 articles on this blog.

Sheree is a wife and WAHM of three who passionately blogs about marriage, family, health tips and more as Smart & Sassy Mom. Sheree is committed to helping blended families and keeping marriages strong, healthy, fun and SPICY!

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  • Ashley

    This article was right on time as I was having a conversation earlier about how to groom my 4 year old to be grateful. We have already discussed giving away old toys and clothes and this has lead her to ask more questions about giving and receiving. Thank you!

  • Stephan

    What a beautiful article. Totally agree with it. I would like to share with you an article that I read that I felt summarised the best way to raise a kid. As a recent father it had a great effect on me, as this article as well.
    http://www.secretsofshinypeople.com/make-your-baby-feel-loved/

    Happy new year and peace for all!

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10 Cheesy Phrases that Your Kids Need to Know about Success and Failure

BY: - 6 Jan '14 | Parenting

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This post is brought to you by the makers of Pine-Sol® Products. I have partnered with them to spread the word about the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign and sweepstakes. To enter the sweepstakes, visit  www.womenRiseAboveIt.com. All opinions and stories are my own.

In this day and age where everybody gets equal playing time and there are no winners or losers, kids could go a long time without experiencing true disappointments.  I remember my first real disappointment. I tried out for captain of the flag team (as I was convinced I was one of the best on the team.)  They gave the position to another girl.   I was really hurt and I did not handle it well.  I stopped doing my best and I eventually quit the squad.  But what I should have done was to show them why they picked the wrong person.

My attitude was wrong…I did not know how to handle the disappointment.  And that was the first of many to come….  As I got older, I did not get accepted to some of the schools that I applied to and I did not get every job that I applied for.  Shoot…there were even some guys that rejected me.

And that’s why I am constantly talking to my kids and trying to prepare them to deal with the challenges that may come their way in life.

They need to know how to dust their selves off, and keep it moving. They need to know how to turn their failures into successes.  They need to know how to rise above it.

Here are 10 common phrases that I always tell my kids:

  1. The worst they can say is no.
  2. A closed mouth never gets fed. This means that if you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get it.
  3. Let Your Haters Be Your Motivators – this statement is over-used … but true.  Any time someone hates on us, my husband and I use that to fuel our passion. We kick it into overdrive.
  4. “You don’t have to blow out the other person’s light to let your own shine!” ~Bernard M. Barch
  5. Your environment may influence you, but it does not get to dictate who you are.  So, if you grew up in an environment that is not so good or if you find yourself being faced with obstacles, you don’t’ have to be a helpless victim.
  6. Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Practice makes perfect.
  8. If at first you don’t succeed…try try again.
  9. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~ Wayne Gretzky
  10. The only failure is not to try.

I am so happy to be partnering with the makers of Pine-Sol® Products on the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign that encourages women from across the country to contribute their own stories of triumph and inspire others.

If you to go out to the Pine-Sol® Women Rise Above It website, http://www.pinesol.com/rise-above, you can read a moving collection of stories by women that have risen above and that are here today to tell their stories of how they overcame life’s challenges.  It’s very inspiring.  Many of these women have overcome self-doubt, abusive relationships, critical illnesses such as cancer, and the death of loved ones.

If you have a story of perseverance, then this is your chance to share it with the world and to inspire other women who may also be going through challenges.  Also, by entering your storyyou will have a chance to win many great prizes, such as:

  • Once a week for 12 weeks, Pine-Sol® will award one lucky winner small tokens of appreciation (Flower bouquet + Pine Sol coupons)
  • Three first prize winners will receive complimentary house cleaning services for a year
  • One grand prize winner will be awarded an all-inclusive trip to enjoy a peaceful spa experience at a deluxe hotel.

BMWK – how do you teach your kids to deal with life’s disappoints? Do you have a favorite quote or phrase that you use? Please share with us below and then take a few minutes to enter the sweepstakes…after all who would not love free house cleaning for a year or a trip to a peaceful spa.

Sweepstakes Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older.  Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT.  To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 473 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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