How do i teach my toddler gratitude?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Thomas, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Member

    My oldest girl has just turned 5 and one of the things I want to teach her is being grateful for what we do have.  
    How does one teach this to a toddler at a young age? I grew up without both of my parents and was never really taught this.
  2. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think it's something that just has to be modeled and learned through real life.  It's going to be giving a gift to people and seeing how happy it makes them.  It's having people say thank you back to her for drawing a picture or taking a walk with them.  It's hearing the adults around her make comments of gratitude as opposed to complaining about what they don't have.  
    I don't know that it's directly about gratitude, but a book our school counselor likes (and I don't remember the exact title) but is something like "How Full is Your Bucket".  It's a book that tries to show how words, actions, and attitudes affect others around us.  It might be helpful.  
  3. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I 100% agree with Marissa that gratitude (well, ~everything~ really) is taught by modeling. If the value is important to you, find ways to model the value/behavior for your children. No matter how much we wish it were different, children do what we do, not what we say.
  4. tarcoulis

    tarcoulis Well-Known Member

    I agree with the two ladies above about modelling and encouraging desired behaviors.  Thanking a coach at the end of practice, writing thank you notes for Christmas and Birthday gifts and talking about how that person didn't have to give them a gift, they could have bought something nice for themselves instead, but they decided to give it to them.  We also tend to make them wait for a lot of things they want and buy some things with their own money.  They have been wanting their own electronics for a couple of years and were so happy and thankful to get Kindle Fires for Christmas.  Whereas their friend (who already has two iPods, a kindle Fire, iPad, and laptop) got an iPad mini and Gizmo watch on Black Friday and her reaction was, "I was this close to getting an iPhone."  I also agree that feeling the gratitude of others also increases their awareness and makes them feel good about giving.  Picking a flower for their teacher or bring treats to share with the class. 
  5. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have to agree with the folks who posted above, it has to be modeled.  Having them see you see please, thank you, I am sorry is a great teacher.  Showing them how to write thank you notes, to be appreciative of presents even when the presents are not desired presents (clothes versus toys).  Praising them for the times that you see them showing gratitude (I really like how you thanked your grandmother for getting you that gift, or helping you pick up your room, etc.)
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