How to Raise an Appreciative Child - Parent's Tips
By Andrew Loh
Gratitude is a strange dictionary word. It has many connotations and
meanings. You show gratitude only when you get something in return. The
word "gratitude" has many sides to it. Let us also presume that someone
presents an article to you. As a complement, you would say, "Thank you".
Let us presume another scenario. Unfortunately, you are in a bad
financial problem. One of your friends help you by lending you some
money. To thank his help, you will say, "Thank you so much, you have
been so helpful". Consider this scenario! Someone opens a door for
you in a shop. You will thank the person who helped by saying, "That was
wonderful of you. Thank you so much".
Now, let us consider your children. One of your relatives visit your home and presents some toys
to your children. However, your children will never offer either a simple
"thank you" or "you are so nice" to the visitors.
Children are not known to be appreciative towards other people. Gratitude or appreciation is a
social skill that takes your children a long time to develop.
Fortunately, parents can use several methods to raise their young
children to demonstrate a deeply appreciative character.
The action should start from you
Children never come to this world ready-made to appreciate others. Everyone including
adults will learn the art of appreciating over duration. However,
children often take more time to learn the art because of the
developmental stages that are required to learn this art. Parents should
shower love and affection on their children for all the good work
carried out by them. Empathy originates from care and nurture. The
action should start from you. When someone does a favor for you, you
should thank him or her. If your children are in front of you when you
thank someone, they will also pick up the art of appreciation and thankfulness.
Keep on appreciating your children
When you appreciate your children for their good work, they will
think that someone is actually caring for them. This simple gesture will
lead your children to follow that gesture towards others. Here are some
examples of how you can appreciate your children:
"You are so helpful to me. I am happy to have you as my child"
"Oh! Did you finish that project? I appreciate your hard work"
The power of "thank you"
The word "thank you" is
very powerful tool to create personal relationship among two people.
For example, when a small child helps his or her mother in sundry chore,
she should thank her child without fail. This kind gesture should start
right in the home and through the mouths of parents. Explain the power
of these two words to your children. Make sure that you use it every day
and when it is possible.
Never demand your children to say thank you
Your children should thank someone from their hearts. You should never force them to say thanks to
someone. It should not be a "you-should-say-so" type of demand from
parents. Instead of showing aggressiveness or using intimidation
strategy, you may tell your children, "I really like you when you say
thank you to someone for their help or favors". Parents should reinforce
this positive behavior gradually over time. Your children will learn
this art slowly, but with a sense of conviction.
punish your children if they do not say thank you to someone.
Find out the reasons for negative behavior
There are several reasons for a child to show an ungrateful behavior.
Often, children may be tired, angry or depressed for some unknown
reasons. You should find out the reasons why your child is not learning
the good social behavior.
Consider your child's temperament
Some children are weak in their temperament
and emotional make up. Such children take some time to learn the art of
appreciation. Children, with conversation skills and interaction, tend to
learn the art of appreciation very quickly. For an introvert, the time
taken will be usually very long. Children mean what they speak because
they speak only those things that are in their minds. If you child's
temperament is weak, you should consider his or her ability to learn the
art. Give ample time for your children to learn the art. Be calm while
teaching the art.
Teach your children to help others
Helping others is a great way to learn social interaction. This will
help receive empathy and appreciation from others. When your children
help others, some of them are likely say thank you. Consistent gestures
of helping will transform your children to return the behavior of
appreciation when others help them.
The art of learning appreciation or thankfulness is a lifelong process. Parents should
cultivate this habit between their children so that people appreciate and
thank them forever.
Let's Be Thankful
By Hallinan P.K
With rhyming verses and brightly colored illustrations, P.K. Hallinan gently shows youngsters how to be
thankful for all the blessings in their lives. Hallinan's simple approach will help teach children to be
thankful for small things and big things and everyday things. This is the perfect book for introducing
and reinforcing the practice of gratitude. For ages 4-8.
P. K. Hallinan has been writing and illustrating books for children for more than 35 years. He writes
inspirational stories about holidays, relationships, and life values. In addition to being a prolific
author and illustrator, P. K. is an ordained minister and a well-known school speaker. With colorful
illustrations and charming verse, this book acknowledges people, animals, and activities that bring
joy to a child's life.