I am so excited to share this project with you. I’ve teamed up with The Mumsy Blog, Our Life Is Beautiful and Liv and Hope to share what we as moms are doing to help our daughters be strong and confident individuals. We could probably spend hours talking about this topic and providing some tips, but we have all decided to take a little piece of this puzzle and I am here to talk about raising your daughter to have a grateful heart. Of course, these tips and my experience could really apply to any child, girl or boy. I have a 15 month old daughter so she is still young enough to mold, my son is 4 years old and although he is a little tougher to mold, there’s still so many things that can be done on a daily basis to ensure your kids have a grateful heart.
1. Teach your kids “please” and “thank you” from a young age. Vivian doesn’t really know how to say a lot of words right now, but we did teach her to say “please” by patting her chest and “thank you” by nodding her head up and down and smiling. When we tell her to “say please or thank you”, she will do those sign language motions. Most the times the “please” is used for when she wants more food. Generally if anyone is picking up a toy for her that she dropped or giving her food, we direct her to say her “thank you”. But on top of that, as a parent, you should always remember to use your “please” and “thank you’s” back with your child as well. Vivian is already picking these signs up fast and doing them on her own, without having to be prompted, as these basic manners are such an important skill to carry your daughter throughout her life.
2. Give them things they need, provide opportunities to earn things they want. This is probably one of the toughest things for parents to control and for kids to learn. You see, ,my son’s birthday is December 28, he is nearly a Christmas baby, and he gets bombarded with presents all at one time. It’s not ideal, but there’s ways of dealing with it. What we do is let him open up all his presents, but then let him pick a few to play with. And throughout the year, we gradually introduce those other toys to him as he earns them. He can earn them through good behavior, chores, whatever you decide, but I also think it teaches responsibility and the value of “stuff”. My daughter doesn’t quite understand this concept yet, but even if we are feeding my daughter the occasional sweets and she wants more, we don’t always give in. Right now we generally just distract her with something else, but eventually she will learn that she can’t have everything she wants.
3. Cultivate the idea of sharing. Again this one might be hard for kids to learn, especially in their toddler years, but I believe teaching them to share with others is something you can do early on. Sometimes if we give Vivian a hand full of grapes for examples, we will ask her to share some back with us or her brother. She doesn’t always agree to do so, but when she does, we emphasize “thank yous” and give her a little cheer party. Especially with siblings though, this can be especially hard, but what I’ve found as a great tactic (especially with my son currently) is saying “Austin, you can play with the toy for 5 minutes” since he knows how to read a watch, and then tell him to share the toy with Vivian and let her play with it after. I’m not going to say it works every time, but I’ve found it to be successful sometimes.
4. Give back. This one might be for the older girls, but there are so many different ways that kids can get involved in giving back to the community. Whether its donating an old toy for Toys for Tots and letting your daughter be fully involved in the process or helping out a charity, this really builds compassion in their heart and can only mean great things for when they grow older.
Cultivating a grateful heart in your daughter is a learning process. There’s sure to be hiccups and bumps along the way and if you don’t feel like your daughter is progressing, don’t give up on them. They might surprise you and do something nice outside of the home, as generally kids are better outside of the home than at home (in my experience).
I hope you loved reading these tips and I would love to hear some the things you do or plan to do to ensure your kids have a grateful heart!!
Special thanks to Liv and Hope for the amazing graphic tees for women. I just love all their sayings because they are really empowering and great life lessons. And how adorable are all the little girls dressed up in Hum Stitchery dresses and trouser skirts! And the adorable blanket is from Blue Salvage. All photography provided by Rachel of Luminosity Photos.
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