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Instilling Gratitude in Children

Instilling gratitude in children - islamictribune.org

As parents, we know that educating our children with the right morals and values is our responsibility. In the article today, we are going to be discussing one such value i.e. gratitude.

  1. Practise Gratitude Yourself

Lead by example. When you will express gratitude yourself, you will be setting an example through your actions. Your children will learn and follow by themselves. There is positive relationship between mother’s and child’s gratitude as one study indicates. This shows that creating an environment of thankfulness and gratefulness is important for children, so they learn this important value. And how can you be more grateful? Read the post about ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ to learn more.

  1. Talk to Children About Gratitude

Teach your kids about gratitude. What is gratitude? And what does it mean to be grateful. Include both gratitude to Allah and to the people. Talk to them about all the blessings they have in their lives and all the things that they love to do. For example, if they like to eat French fries then start from potatoes… who grew potatoes? Farmers. Who sent down the rain? Allah. Then how they reached the market and we bought them and then mama cut them and made them into French fries or maybe the house help did so. Either way teach them to grateful to every human involved in the process along with the utmost gratitude to Allah who made potato in the first place.

  1. Teach Them to say Thank You

It is a one small act through which children can learn to be thankful to others. Explain to them why we are saying the words ‘Thank you’. To express gratitude to the person who gave us a gift or helped us with a task. Start from home by telling children to say ‘thank you’ to you when you buy them something like a toy or a food item or help them with their homework. They will slowly develop the habit of saying thanks.

  1. Do Gratitude Focused Activities

Make and do exercises which involve around the concept of gratitude. For example, keeping a gratitude journal, counting blessings and drawing them, what are you grateful for today? etc. Counting blessings for 2 weeks showed positive effects on students’ performance in school and their social and emotional functioning. Activities which revolve around the concept of will help in reinforcing the lesson.

  1. Gratitude is Beneficial in Long Term

If you are successful in teaching your children the right values, the kids will reap benefits throughout life. The people who are brought up with the positive emotion of gratitude will be far better mentally than who are not. In a study of 1252 adolescent, it was found that those who scored higher for gratitude were less likely to ideate or attempt suicide.

References:

  1. Hoy, B. D., Suldo S. M., & Mendez, L. R. (2012). Links Between Parents’ and Children’s Levels of Gratitude, Life Satisfaction, and Hope. Journal of Happiness Studies. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-012-9386-7
  2. Froh, J., Miller, D., Snyder, S. (2007). Gratitude in children and adolescents: Development, assessment, and school-based intervention. School Psychology Forum. Retrieved from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.183.3297
  3. Li, D., Zhang, W., Li, X., Li, N., Ye, B. (2012). Gratitude and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Chinese Adolescents: Direct, mediated, and moderated effects. Journal of Adolescence. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140197111000637

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