Teaching Children Gratitude by Sharon Scott, LPC LMFT
Teaching Children Gratitude
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT
In these difficult economic times, it might come as a surprise that such challenging times can teach important life lessons to children. The obvious lessons are don’t overspend, credit cards are not the same as money and one has to be responsible and work hard to make a living. The other lesson, though, is to not just focus on what you don’t have or can’t get’ but to focus on what you do have.
In December I was attending a gala holiday party at a beautiful country club. A hundred or so people were decked out in their most festive attire. I was standing with several other women and we were the few in the room unaccompanied by a husband or boyfriend. One woman said that she felt like a wall flower. I commented, ‘Just take in the moment’it’s beautiful and peaceful and we’re going to have a wonderful dinner in a few minutes.’ She replied, ‘You know, you’re right.’ Her attitude changed in the moment and the rest of the evening I noticed she seemed to be having a grand time.
Think about ways to teach your children gratitude. This could include making sure that you focus on your haves rather than your have nots. It could be that you increase your positive comments about what you appreciate. Another idea is to have everyone write in a journal each day two (or five!) things that person is thankful for that day. Teach your children how to be creative in their gratitude with adjectives such as ‘notice those gorgeous cardinals’ the deep red of their feathers against the dark green of the cedars.’ That’s a stronger thought than just ‘notice the pretty birds.’
And, as a family, you might want to work on this together by making a Master List of what your family is grateful for. You could put a notebook out to write in or a piece of butcher paper taped to the laundry room wall. Family members could continue adding over time with the goal of reaching at least 100 things your family appreciates.
Happy New Year! I am wishing for you and your family a most wonderful year!
Copyright 2017, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
Latest posts by Sharon Scott (see all)
- Smile Notes: The Most Special Day of All! by Sharon Scott, LPC LMFT - March 1, 2019
- Encouraging Friendship for Your Children - February 2, 2019
- Smile Notes: Talk Your Way to Family Closeness by Sharon Scott, LPC LMFT - February 1, 2019