#Essential Living

How do you teach a child to be Grateful? [Printable]

November 15, 2017

What's the difference between "spoiled" and "spoiled rotten"?

Spoiled rotten is getting everything you ask for . . . 
Spoiled is getting what you know you can ask for.  

As the youngest in my family, I was spoiled, not rotten though.

"How do you teach a child to be grateful?"  My mother was asked this question.  What would be your response?

Do we:
  • Make them say "thank you" when given something - a present, a compliment, an act of service
  • Make them write a thank you note for a gift received
  • Provide service opportunities
  • Set a good example by doing all of the above
It's very difficult in today's world to instill within a child the innate gift of gratitude - an embedded character trait they will carry with them into adulthood.  All around there is a sense of entitlement or expectation.  It can be especially stressful at Christmas time.   

We make gift lists in our family, for all occasions.  Birthdays, Christmas, Mother and Father's Day (<-- because we are always asked).  Pinterest boards are set up sometimes for convenience.  It removes so much stress of wondering what to get the person who has everything.  No more wasting time and money on guessing.  Does it mean they get everything on their lists?  Of course not.  That would be spoiling.  

How did my mother answer the question on gratitude?  "Give them less."  Give them more opportunities to serve.

I knew my parents didn't have money for BIG Christmases, and yet I always loved what I received.  It was plenty and enough.  My mother instinctively must have followed the 4-Gift guide.  

Try it on for size and see how it fits your family.  Make any modifications.  It doesn't eliminate exchange gifts from other family members.  It will, however, eliminate the holiday jitters.  It's a real gift to make Christmas mornings magical on a limited budget - even if you don't have one.  

This is my guide for gifting to my 95-yr old mother this year.  She doesn't really need any of these gifts, but I enjoy thinking of simple things that will bring a smile to her face.  It's always the thought that counts.





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