With the holidays quickly slipping into the annals of our family histories, and things around your home getting back to its quieter norm, January provides a great opportunity to take a look at how your kids came away from the season of gift-giving; truly assessing how they acted and what they may have learned. Small children often have difficulty expressing the right amount of gratitude in ways that we want to see as parents, so it is up to us to display the appropriate responses to ensure that they are developing gratitude and understand how to show it. As South Windsor’s most trusted day care and preschool, we suggest the use of the following strategies to help create a feeling of gratitude within your child:
- Mind your manners – By saying “thank you” as often as necessary, you become your child’s best example of how to display gratitude. The more they hear thankfulness being expressed, the more the words find their way into their vocabulary.
- Don’t forget to include them – Don’t save your gratitude for others, but make sure to recognize your child’s effort with a heartfelt thank you too. If they took the time to clean their room, or you caught them being nice and quiet or sharing their toys with another child, tell them that their behavior was appreciated with a warm “thank you” meant only for them.
- Include daily reminders to be thankful – A good way to include graciousness in your everyday life is to ask “What are you thankful for today?” at dinner or bedtime. The query will start to remind them to look for positives in their everyday, whether at preschool or at home.
- Role play – If your child displays traits of gratitude at home, but shyness keeps them from showing others outside the home appropriate responses to generosity, then practice the right values at home with their stuffed animals. Play along as your little one teaches his/her dolls how to say thank you.