Gratitude – An Important Skill to Be Taught to Children

A lesson on good manners for children begins with teaching them the importance of saying ‘thank you’ and most parents already try to make their kids accustomed with this basic thing even before they enter school life. But learning the art of being grateful does not begin and end at saying a ‘thank you!’According to Sheela Raja,assistant professor and clinical psychologist of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, gratitude is being “appreciative of the good things you have.” However, the fact remains that desire of expressing gratitude and the ability to do so is not something that comes naturally to children. We have heard many parents complain that they are exasperated that their kids are not really thankful or appreciativeof the privileges that they receive and instead regard all of those as entitlements.

For a child, it might be easy to say thank you to an aunt because she brought him a pullover but the challenge lies in making the little one see the reason behind being happy for receiving a pullover instead of a toy, and that is where the ideals of gratitude come in. We, at the Lotus Valley International School, believe that being grateful is a skill that must be taught at a young age and then regularly reinforced. To quote the words of His Holiness, Dalai Lama, “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”  In our experience, the following holds the most importance whenteaching gratitude to children:

Putting a control on the feelings of envy

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” -Willie Nelson, American musician, singer, and songwriter.

We have noticed that children who learn to begrateful, spend less time in comparing themselves with others or feeling envious. They rather keep their focus on what they have and received and believe in counting their blessings. When we teach our children to be grateful, it eventually resultsin teaching them to be self-assured and not self-centered, which we believe is in itself one of the greatest achievements for a mentor.

Being appreciative of other’s perspective

“The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker.

Understanding the values of gratitude helps children to step into someone else’s shoes and realize that the other person did something nice out of the goodness of heart, even when he/she did not necessarily have to. It ends up improving their relationships with others further in their lives and thus, with time they will be at the receiving end of more good gestures to be thankful for.

Gift them a better quality of life

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” -Charles Dickens, English writer.

All of us want our kids to relate to other’s feelings and develop a sense of belonging not just in our personal spheres but also in the society at large. Childrenwith a sense of gratefulness are more likely to grow optimistic about life and look towards the present and the future with hope instead of reflecting on the misfortunes of the past. The key benefit of gratefulness lies in taking a stock of all the things to be grateful about rather than lamenting on the things lost and not achieved. It makes the children more humble and responsible human beings in life.

We, at Lotus Valley, also understand that teaching the values of gratefulness is not something that happens in a day and it needs to be a gradual but sure process. We, as one of the revered educational institutes of the country and a top ranked international school in Noida, attempt to teach our pupils the values of gratefulness through being a role model ourselves as we know thatchildren learn the best by example. Our experienced teachers try to inculcate the ideas of gratefulness in the young minds through their lessons in the classroom and playground. We hope to raise kids who are grateful individuals and remain beholden of all the bounties that this life has to offer.

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