family enjoying meal at home, parents who've learned how to raise a thankful child

With Thanksgiving season approaching, have you been wondering how to raise a thankful child?

According to Child Mind Institute, “Saying thank you is one of the first social rules many parents teach their children.”

Instilling a spirit of gratitude in our children can be hard work. Without an intentional effort, this simply won’t happen.

Even so, the goal is achievable.

Here are some steps you can take to help you get there.

Show Your Child How to Be Thankful

Have you ever found yourself asking your child, “Why can’t you just be thankful?”

Often, we as parents overlook the number-one way of how to raise a thankful child. The primary way our children learn to be thankful is seeing it modeled by their parents.

If your child regularly sees you show gratitude, their ability to learn thankfulness will be exponentially easier. The opposite is also true.

If your child rarely ever sees you thankful, it’ll be a hard road for him or her to learn what it means to be grateful.

Often, children are a mirror of their parents’ best and worst traits. They’re the perfect testing ground for the saying, “a lot more is caught than taught.”

A good question to ask yourself is, “What kind of image am I projecting to my child?” Is positivity a common thing for you or do you tend to focus on the negative? Whatever you regularly do will likely be what your child learns to do, as well.

If You Learn to Be Grateful, So Will Your Child

If you personally struggle to be thankful, there’s no reason to lose hope. The wonderful thing about life is that each day, we can choose a fresh start.

If you’ve been struggling with negativity, your child has taken notice. The first thing you can do is be honest with your child. Admit that this is a struggle for you and that you want to change.

This type of transparency will help to build trust and respect with your child. It also will lay the foundation for you and your child to work at being more grateful in the future.

There are plenty of ways to become a more thankful person with your child. Here are just a few of many ideas:

·         Create a “thankful” journal

·         Discuss things you’re thankful for at daily family meals

·         Help someone less fortunate than yourself

·         Teach your child that many in the world don’t have it so good

·         Recite things you’re thankful for at the start and end of each day

·         Verbalize your appreciation for your child

·         Complement others in front of your child

·         Do your best to see the good in others

·         Work with your child to find the good in difficult circumstances

Summing It Up

If you’re wondering how to raise a thankful child, it’s important to remember that you can’t control your child. The only person you can control is yourself.

But if you learn the habit of gratitude, you’ll stand the best chance of raising a thankful child. Instead of having to constantly harp on your child to be grateful, your child will see your positive influence. This will allow for natural change to take place.

The truth is that gratitude is a necessity for a happy and fulfilling life. The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to reflect on this fact and to search for a better way.

Are you and your child struggling right now to see the good in life? It could be that you’re having a tough time expressing gratitude.

If so, the Valencia Relationship Institute can help you and your child to improve. We offer evidence-based methods to practice thankfulness that result in a more fulfilling life. You can schedule an appointment with your Valencia, CA therapist today.