Giving thanks is not just reserved for Thanksgiving. It is a character trait that should be modeled all year long! Your child learns more about the world from first watching you and then watching others through socialization. However, you are your child’s first teacher; and therefore, you can make a stronger impact on the adult he or she becomes.

A 2016 study published in Applied Developmental Science found that grateful parents tend to raise grateful children. This should be no surprise because kids are constantly watching what parents say and do, which is shaping who they are. And because you are committed to ensuring that your child is developing positive character, there is a good chance that you are already modeling many of the behaviors that support raising a grateful child.

As a reminder, here are ways to model gratitude all year long and not just during the holidays:

  1. Say “Thank you.” Whether you thank the person on the other line for good customer service or you thank your own child for cleaning their room even after being told, just be sure to thank others often.
  2. Talk about gratitude. Do this by sharing about what you are grateful for, especially on the roughest days. Definitely avoid complaining about it. Instead, point out that although bad things sometimes happen, there is still much to be thankful for.
  3. Express gratitude, openly. When your child sees you writing “thank you” notes or sending a token of appreciation to someone, you are modeling to them the things that are important about how to care about others.

If you need more support in this area, let us guide you in that process. There is so much more you can do to ensure that you have the tools and resources you need to parent with intention and raise healthy, grateful human beings. We are here to partner with you in giving your child the best opportunities in life possible!

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