Is there a Strategy on Teaching how to Be Grateful?

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photo credit by kateausburn

BY RAUL COLON
GUEST PAPI

One of the things I would like to fix about some parents is how they forget to teach their children to be grateful. I see how people at every age forget to thank someone for even the smallest of things, such as having a door opened for them, or simply saying thank you to someone who was polite towards them. I have always tried to be very grateful yet I have to admit that on some occasions, I wish I had been even more grateful. If adults forget to be grateful, how can we expect our kids or grandchildren to be?

One thing I can do is to instill those values onto my daughter, Daniela. Although she is barely four months old, I have to admit that I already worry about those things. As a new dad I want my daughter to have the best opportunities in life and a key to that is teaching her to be grateful for the blessings she has received.

How Do I Teach My Daughter to Be Thankful?
I have to thank my parents, my grandmother Lydia, grandfather Irving and my uncle Irving for teaching me early the importance of being grateful. I know they taught me how to be grateful, but I just can’t remember what they did exactly that made it part of my nature. Was it in me already or did I learn it from them?

 

Making sure she is thankful for the opportunities
• Education – I will strive my best to provide her with an adequate education and I know her mom will do the same.
• Loving Veggies & Healthy Diet – I see the high nutritional value in vegetables and I am vegetarian, I hope she will too. Will she appreciate that her mom and I will have a strict diet for her to make sure she is eating healthy?
• Attention – Will she be grateful that she was our main priority and was well taken care of, while other parents were neglecting their kids?
• Entertainment – Will she be grateful of the toys and time we spent entertaining her?
• Not focused on Material Things – Will she be grateful of the time and love her mom, family members and myself have given her from the moment she was born over material things?
• Shelter – Will she understand that she has shelter and a bed to sleep when others might not be as lucky?

How to Project Gratitude?
I guess the best way to teach Daniela to project gratitude is by showing her. I really want to make sure she takes care of those who took care of her in the future. It’s also important to teach her the magic words like, thank you, Gracias, Merci Beaucoup. Teaching Daniela the Golden Rule of treating others as you would like to be treated, might also help me instill correct values.

Keeping a Good Balance

A good balance of praising when she earns it and correcting when needed will hopefully put Daniela on the right track. I will do as many things possible to teach her that actions bring positive or negative consequences. I will constantly remind her and encourage her to put others before her own interests.

I will make sure to lead by example and try to help Daniela understand these concepts by being a role model and making sure she understands that I am grateful for having her.

How do you demonstrate gratitude? How do you project that energy and those values to your kids?

Raúl J. Colón is Co-founder and President of CIMA IT Solutions Corp. , an IT Solutions and Social Marketing Firm helping small businesses find practical solutions to complex problems. He is Vegetarian since 2006 and founded Veglatino.com a blog where people can learn about the latino vegetarian lifestyle. Raul also blogs at http://raulcolon.net where he shares his personal and business experiences from his perspective. Find him on twitter: @rj_c

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