In today’s plugged-in, fast-paced world, it can be difficult for families — and especially kids — to feel truly connected. Commercials are constantly pushing the hottest new must-have gadget, parents and children are scheduled to the max, and every new update causes us to commit to more screen time and less face-to-face time. In the midst of the daily grind, parents may find themselves worrying and stressing over how to keep their children humble, grateful and genuine. Even though we live in a consumer culture, we can still raise thoughtful, intentional consumers. Check out these tips from Genetipetz for growing grateful kids in an entitled world.
1. Serve together. Sit down as a family and choose a recurring service project — something you can do once a week, once a month, or once a year. Call a local animal shelter and walk the dogs, serve meals to the homeless, or take up donations of new or used toys in your neighborhood (Genetipetz make great donation gifts for boys and girls!). No matter what you choose, you will never regret spending time together, leading by example and ensuring your children know how fortunate they are.
2. Talk about the value of hard work. If you’re unsure how much your kids understand about how hard you work to give them a full life, explain to them (in simple terms — you don’t want to overly burden them) how you go to work each day in order to provide for their needs. Kids may not naturally make the connection between work and money and food, shelter, or clothing, so make it clear to them. Encourage them to thank each parent for taking care of the family.
3. Teach the concept of a dollar earned. No child is too young to start learning the value of a dollar. Instead of giving a weekly allowance, try a small chore list so your kids can further understand what it means to work, earn, and save. They will quickly learn that nothing is free and that a job well done is rewarded.
4. Lead by example. Be a model of gratefulness in your own life. It doesn’t have to be through grand gestures — thank your servers at restaurants, the mailman, and even your spouse for the little things. Exuding gratitude is learned, and it will become normal for your children if they see you doing it.