Last weekend I was standing in an extremely long line at Nashville Airport, waiting to go through security. I was starting to stress out. My flight was in 30 min and I knew my plane would be boarding shortly.
A woman ran up to me (and all the other ticketed passengers in line), also in a panic, explaining that her flight was about to board and asked if she could jump in line in front of us. Graciously, we all agreed.
And just like that, she busted through line and ran off. Without a thank you.
Have you ever opened the door for someone who didn’t acknowledge your gesture?
Or let someone enter a long line of traffic who didn’t even acknowledge your gesture with a wave?
How about giving everything you’ve got on a daily basis at work without any sign of appreciation from your boss? Sure, your daily task are on your job description but it would be nice to feel needed wanted, don’t ya think?
I bet many of you have thankless jobs and are expected by your partners and kids to be super giving all the time without any gratitude or appreciation.
What does it mean to give thanks?
I believe its our job as adults and parents our children to give thanks. Saying thank you should be like an auto-responder and who else but us parents can show them the way?
What does it mean to give thanks?
Showing up for people when they are in need.
Extending genuine kindness for no reason at all.
Appreciating every waking moment of every single day.
Noticing the small things in life as miracles.
These simple acts of behavior are not easy to pass along to children. But it’s our role as parents to behave as role models so they will eventually emulate as they grow.
Here are a few ways to teach your children how to have a grateful heart every day:
Share with your children what you are grateful for and why. You could start a journal and write down your blessings every day with them. Or give thanks before dinner or before bed. For example:
“I’m grateful for the food we have.”
“I’m grateful you are in my life.”
“I am grateful you exist.”
“I am grateful the sun shines, we have clean water to drink, and for our freedom.”
When your children are taught to appreciate the simple things in their lives every day, gratitude will inevitably be instilled in them.
Keep it Simple.
Keeping things simple allows your children to notice the little things in life. Use every opportunity you have to teach your children the value of every single thing in their life. Your life does not have to be rich in “material objects” in order to teach your children what it is for which they can be grateful.
One of my most memorable days was a few weeks ago when my three year old came up to me after dinner and said, “thank you Mommy for taking me to the park today.” It is often the simple things, like sharing a walk, lying out on the grass or under the stars, reading in a meadow, telling stories by the campfire, or building a fort out of old boxes that allows our children to understand the value and importance of what we call LIFE.
Teach Your Children About Nature and the Big World In Front Of Them.
Talk about how important it is to be outside, exploring the outdoors. Teach your children to stop and smell the flowers. Explain to your children why we need rain in order for our plants and flowers to grow and how our trees provide us with all the the oxygen we need in order to breathe. Plant a garden. Teach them the origin of their food. Help your children see life from a different perspective.
Teach Children to be Responsible for Their Actions.
Teach your children to be responsible for their actions. Explain to them what it means to be authentic and how their actions impact everyone around them. When your children act out, respect them as human beings and hold them accountable. Talk to them. Set an example.
I have given you 4 simple suggestions on how to raise truly grateful children. I would love to hear your from you. What are you doing to teach your children to give thanks? Please let me know by posting a comment in the box below.
About the Author:
Hayley Hobson is a yogi, Pilates and nutrition expert based in Boulder, CO. Hayley creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to strengthen, nourish and evolve through the cycles and shifts in life. Combining cutting edge understanding of all three disciplines of Pilates, yoga and nutrition due to years of anatomical study and dietary theory, Hayley’s approach leverages their blended benefits and results. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening–empowering her client’s to heal not only their physical bodies, but their hearts and minds as well. Hayley is the creator of the Strengthen, Nourish and Evolve Nutrition and Detox Programs. Enrollment is open and www.snenutrition.com. To find Hayley, visit her website www.hayleyhobson.com or visit her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hayleyhobon or Pinterest www.pinterest.com/hayleyhobson69.