Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Motherhood Chapter 24: Teaching Gratitude

With the commencement of November, I have turned my thoughts to gratitude. As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be adding a bit of gratitude on my blog every day this month. This morning, I decided to include my family in the endeavor as I sat the family down for our morning devotional minute.

Each morning after morning prayers, each member of our family is going to note something they are grateful for. It has to be a different thing than they have said yet this month. I hope this will help turn the thoughts of my children even more toward the blessings they have been given.

Gratitude is such an important lesson to teach our children. I am curious about the ways different people teach their children this important virtue. I will share a few things I have started at my home. But I do not profess to be any sort of expert on this subject. Frankly, I am sure I could use the tips more than others. I would like my children to increase in their gratitude. I would like them to think of gratitude more naturally, on their own.

So, PLEASE share your comments on how you teach your children gratitude.

One simple way I have tried with Noble is to point out things I have done for him and ask him to thank me. For example, after I change his diaper I will say something like, "Isn't it nice to be clean Noble? Wasn't that nice of Mommy to change your diaper for you? Can you tell Mommy thank you?"

Noble always tells me thank you. I wish I had done this with all my kids. I feel like it has made Noble just a bit more gratitude minded.

Other than this one simple tip, I can only say that we have family home evening meetings on this subject. We express gratitude in our prayers. I try to remind the kids to express gratitude for thing people give them or do for them like any normal parent does.

Let me know if you have any tips for me. I am sure I will be "grateful" for them.

Tonight I am grateful for the change in me that made me hug Noble when I was mad that he broke my cup instead of grab him in a mean way. I owe that to Camille. Thank you.


Cheryl said...

We make a "thankful tree" in November (hasn't happened yet) that I hang on the front door (nothing fancy I assure you) and I have leaves and markers in a central place and the kids can make a leaf by writing something or drawing something and hanging it on the tree. It helps us think of things all month long.

Anonymous said...

We have used "Give Me 5" - list briefly 5 good, happy, kind, or appreciated things from this day - e.g. dessert, a story read aloud, a phone call from/to Grandma, an opportuniy for service, feeding & playing with pets.
(You might ask for fewer at first.)

Patty said...

After they get the concept of saying thank you.. all you have to do to remind them is to say.."think about a thank you" and point to your head. Aftet that works, all you have to say is.."think about...." still pointing to your head.
Then, well, all you do is point to your head to get their response. When they get that good feeling, and they will, they will say thank you on their own and mean it...hopefully. It's a learning process.
Patience is a virtue for all, even children.

Kristen said...

I think gratitude has a lot to do with thinking of others. I loved THIS talk by President Monson. We've tried to incorporate that idea of asking our kids what they have done for someone else that day.