CULTIVATE GRATITUDE AND POSITIVITY IN PRESCHOOLERS
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Toddlers and preschoolers are by nature self-centered so teaching gratitude will be tricky initially and take some patience. Persevering, however, will make for more sensitive, caring children and overall help teenagers in the long run to feel optimistic, joyful and connected to their peers.
"No one is born grateful," says life coach Mary Jane Ryan, author of Attitudes of Gratitude (Conari, 1999). "Recognizing that someone has gone out of the way for you is not a natural behavior for children -- it's learned."
Children who aren't taught gratitude could end up feeling entitled and perpetually disappointed.
A good start with children of any age is to get them involved in doing something for someone else. Helping make a salad, sweep the floor, set the table or make the bed will help them focus their attention on doing something for others instead of demanding for themselves.
Start by teaching children good manners like saying Please, Thank You, Good Morning and Goodbye. This alone will help children to realize other people's feelings and emotions count.
Children who learn gratitude become sensitive to the feelings of others in a household, classroom or friendship group.
Work gratitude into your everyday living
Just understanding and paying attention to everyday chores that family do for them in a household will get them out of their one-person universe. Preparing dinner every night, getting up early to make their lunchbox, folding laundry or keeping a clean house and all the chores around that. These are all learning opportunities for your little ones to help with, you just have to have the patience to let them learn slowly, no matter what the outcome. Perhaps chatting at the dinner table about things that made you grateful during the day will get the kids thinking about what made them happy and grateful that day. Simple things like the color of the sunset, or a neighbour waving to you will bring an awareness of joy existing in other things besides material possessions. The age old tradition of being thankful and grateful for the food we eat is a great start!
A 2003 study at the University of California at Davis showed that grateful people report higher levels of happiness and optimism -- along with lower levels of depression and stress.
This is a mature emotion and life skill that will help them in many walks of life, be it in the family environment or work environment.
Lets face it selfishness has never been an endearing quality!
And with that let me say that we at Pop-Ins Schoolhouse are ever grateful for our caring staff, parents and joyful children that make our lives so much happier.
9083 W Peakview Drive
Littleton, CO 80123
Call us: 303-979-0094