Teaching kids today about gratitude can be challenging as they are often exposed to various social environments online. This can easily affect how they view what is a ‘need’ and what is a ‘want’. We spoke to Dr Yeo Pei Li, licensed professional counsellor at Rekindle Centre for Systemic Therapy to find out the basic points to help your kids understand gratitude.
Children who are spoilt grow up believing they can have everything they want. Play is the language of children, so games or other fun activities may help them learn the concept of needs and wants according to their age and mental capacity.
TRY THIS! Gather magazines, flyers, brochures, a large piece of white paper, glue and scissors. First, divide the piece of blank paper into two columns with the labels ‘NEED’ and ‘WANT’. Explain to your kids the difference and that all of us have wants, but we cannot have everything that we want – we have to make choices about what to prioritise. Together, look for images depicting things which are necessary to survival, and which are not.
Four Ways to Teach Your Kids Gratitude
Be a good role model. One of the best messages to send to our children is letting them know we are grateful to have them. When they know they are loved and wanted, their self-esteem is boosted for the right reasons, and not because they have the latest smartphone or expensive toy. As a parent, show that your gratitude extends beyond material things.
Allow children to contribute when they want something. Teach children the concept of saving so that when they want something, they are encouraged to contribute a certain percentage to get it. This empowers them to take ownership of the purchase and understand the value of money. Also create opportunities from them to give their time or money to charity.