Teaching Our Children and Grandchildren To Be Grateful

Wouters-2

Most of us are feeling the pinch of harder economic times. But we are also concerned about teaching our children to be grateful for what they have. We may think back to our younger days when we lived with less but seemed to have all we needed in a simpler and less hectic lifestyle. One way we grandparents can help to keep the right balance in our families’ perspective on ownership is to model the fine art of “having enough.” When we were little children many of us heard stories of the starving children of China or another country in our parents’ efforts to teach us to be grateful. Children are often not able to make the connection between someone far away and their own circumstances. They may not be able to see a good reason to eat the vegetables on their plate just because someone else is hungry. But as we speak positively about the things we have and are grateful for, our homes, our daily meals, our schools, our friends, children begin to learn that happiness isn’t about owning more. We can also model being wise with our spending and being satisfied with what we already have rather than wanting the newest and latest from the marketplace. Perhaps we can wear clothing that is still suitable if not the latest style. Is it possible to do without the most expensive pair of shoes? We can be mindful of the needs of others and plan activities with our grandchildren that teach them how to share. How about cleaning out the toys and making the extras available to someone with less? How about making donations to charitable organizations and encouraging the grandchildren to be an active part of that gift? We should never underestimate the power of our words and actions in teaching our grandchildren about the important things in life. Let’s teach them to be grateful by being examples of the fine art of “having enough.”

 

juliet

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