November 24, 2016

7 Tips to Help You Raise a THANKFUL Child

Raising a thankful child is a complicated task, but with these 7 parenting tips it may be a little easier!

It's interesting how having a child instantly makes holidays feel a little bit more exciting, I knew the moment we found out we were expecting that Christmas would be different this year and now that we're celebrating Thanksgiving with her today, I'll admit Turkey day is a little better and brighter with her in it! Although next year will be even more fun when she can try the food with us... for now I'll snuggle her up while I'm nursing her and whisper how thankful I am that she's my daughter in her tiny little ears.

Raising a thankful child is a complicated task, but with these 7 parenting tips it may be a little easier!

With that said, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to raise her. Whenever you find out you're pregnant, the duties of parenthood run through your head... that's inevitable. I know I thought about all kinds of situations, some that I put my parents through, some that would only be relevant to her generation, and I'm certain there are some that I haven't even contemplated yet. One thing I do know about parenthood and how I plan on raising her is that I want her to be thankful. I want her to know that while she is loved, she isn't entitled. I want her to thank her elders and smile when asked to extend a helping hand and while I'm no parenting expert, I have been reading up on the matter and today I want to share 7 tips to help you raise a more thankful child.

Raising a thankful child is a complicated task, but with these 7 parenting tips it may be a little easier!

1. Initiate a thankful habit and count your blessings - While D is really little, I help her do this. We look around at all the amazing clothing and toys she has and while these are great, I want to teach her to be thankful for her blessings in life. Ranging from her amazing Nonnie, her loving aunties, her Gigi that considers her a real life princess - these people are truly blessings in her life and I remind her of that daily. When she gets a little older I hope to keep up this practice but have her tell me who or what she considers a blessing in her life, outside of just the materials she's lucky enough to have.

2. Work Hard and Spend Wisely - I want Delainey to know money doesn't grow on trees and that we work for what we want in our house. I don't plan on practicing slave labor, or anything of the sort, but she will start doing chores when she's old enough and desires certain possessions. When she's 5 and wants a new barbie, learning how to do a task around the house will be her way of earning that reward. This lesson won't be one that we learn for a while but it's definitely one I hope she grasps quickly.

3. Please, Excuse Me, and Thank You - Learning her manners is an important part of teaching her to be thankful and polite. When she's super young she may not really understand what these words mean but teaching them to her when her vocabulary first starts growing is one of my main goals. I want her to know that these words mean a lot, in my opinion, and make you seem like a more gracious guest in someone's home, a kind girl in social situations, and ultimately, just a better person in general.

4. Listen Up - Teaching her how to listen is important too. While she's pretty small to teach about eye contact and choosing her tone of voice, this is on our agenda to teach older D. I think the best way to teach her this will be to listen to her when she speaks, teaching her how to properly make eye contact by demonstrating the behavior and listening intently to whatever she's trying to tell me. While this won't always be possible, doing this as much as I can will encourage her to mimic my behavior... or at least that's what the experts say.

5. Show and Tell...the Truth about life - While exposing D to homeless people currently isn't on our agenda this turkey day, we do plan on eventually spending this holiday volunteering at a shelter with her when she grows up. I want to expose her to the less fortunate, preferably around this time of the year to remind her how lucky we have it. It's eye-opening to do things like this and while I don't want to scare her, I want her to know life isn't rainbows and butterflies all the time for everyone and that we need to help others whenever possible, two lessons in one turkey day... I'm looking forward to this.

6. Spring Clean with the Kids - This may sound like an extra chore, along with doing the chores... but it'll be worth it! Have the kids choose clothing and toys they no longer want during the spring months (or any time really) and donate these items to those in need! Teaching your kids to live minimally while also ridding your house of the extra "stuff" will be good for everyone involved. This is something I know Delainey and I will be doing, I have a bad shopping habit and this will be the perfect way to keep that in check and we'll both learn from it.

7. Get the family in on the thankful fun - This one should be easy, all you have to do is get the family on board with the thankful lifestyle. Encourage grandparents to overuse the word thanks when your kiddo is around or tell older cousins to tell babe their definition of being thankful. It's fun to get everyone involved in being thankful and it spreads the goodness all around!

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