Teaching Gratitude and Reflection Over the Holidays

We try every year to push the lesson that ‘it’s better to give than receive’ and force them to say please and thank you, but lecturing isn’t the way we’re going to see results.

Slowing down in a situation and taking in what’s going on and how we feel in the moment. Getting an awesome new gift makes everyone feel great, but it takes a moment of reflection to see how other people feel at the same time.

Gratitude needs reflection and reflection usually comes with encouraging further conversation and exploratory questions.

If your child says “my favourite colour is blue”, instead of replying with “mine’s red”, ask “what does blue make you think of?”. (This is also a good conversational tip for adults too).

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When it comes to reinforcing a new skill, we have to model the behaviour that will teach our kids how to act.

This holiday season, I’m going to be actively modelling gratitude and being openly thankful, especially around my daughter.

A few examples:

  • I’m so glad we get to see our family over Christmas
  • It felt so good to give a gift to the mailman. Did you see his smile? I think I made his day.
  • Wow. Look at this dinner that Mum made for us. I’m so grateful. Thank you, Mum.

How are you going to spend some time this season modelling what you’d like to see?

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