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How to teach gratitude

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How to teach gratitude

Many parents fear their child will grow up to be spoiled. Sometimes it’s easier to give in to a child’s demands than to hear the whining, crying, and complaining. But children who always get what they want grow up with few friends and a lot of toys, so you aren’t doing your child any favours. Instead, try to substitute selfishness with humility. Here are some ways you can encourage thankfulness in your child’s heart:

Do your part to express gratitude. Whether you like it or not, your children are always watching you and noting how you relate to others – from the pizza delivery person to your most annoying relative to your spouse. There are many opportunities to say “thank you” to someone if you are mindful of them.

Write thank you notes together. Create a card on fancy paper for your child’s teacher or the bus driver. Ask your child to help you write the message or have them make a drawing with their art supplies.

Say a word of thanks before a meal. Even though everyone’s stomachs may be rumbling, take time to sit as a family and say a short prayer or word of thanks before a meal. There are millions of children around the world who don’t have enough to eat.

Volunteer. Visit your local food bank or soup kitchen and spend time serving others. It will give your child some perspective and soften their heart towards those in need.

Donate to charity. Invest in an organization that believes in the same causes that you do. Christian Children’s Fund of Canada provides for children, families, and communities in need. Through child sponsorship, your child can befriend a child of their own age from another country. You and your child can see online at how your contribution can make a difference in their life.  (NC)