The art of saying “Thank You” and showing gratitude is one of the most important traits to build in children. When your child learns the importance of gratitude, they will learn to appreciate every single blessing that they have.
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Happiness studies found that gratitude is linked to children who are happy by age 5. A 2008 study published in the Journal of School Psychology found that children who practice gratitude were more optimistic, had better social support and were more satisfied with their schools, friends, families and themselves.
REMIND THEM OF ALLAH SWT
No matter how young your child is, you should always place Allah as the central focus of their lives. Introduce them to the Quranic verse where Allah says, “If you are grateful, I will give you more.”
This is such a powerful reminder. When we appreciate what Allah has given us, we will be blessed with more than what we can imagine! When your child understands that when he shows thankfulness to Allah, Allah will bless him in abundance, it will automatically make him not only God-conscious but also help him focus on Allah for all his wants and needs. He will understand that he has to be thankful to Allah at all times under all circumstances. This characteristic will not only help him focus on the positives but will be a huge source of support and strength when he gets older and when life’s challenges become heavier.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Don’t expect your children to follow your orders and words like “Thank you”, “Sorry” or “Please” just because you expect them to. These words should come from their heart and it would be easier for them to implement these words when they see you doing so. Therefore, always remember as parents you are the most powerful source of inspiration and motivation to your child. If you want them to do something, implement it yourself.
ESTABLISH GOOD BEHAVIOUR
Between 3 and 6 years of age, a child goes through a first phase of “awakening” in their social and emotional development. Their experiences of relationships with loved ones and strangers becomes more solid. They absorb behaviors and reactions from their parents. Your gestures, body language and expressions are keenly observed. Therefore, this is the perfect stage to lead by example and show them how to be thankful and grateful. This way, you will not be imposing your commands upon them. Rather, you will be leading them by example, helping them learn with ease.
MAINTAIN A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
Before going to bed, you can ask your child what he/she was grateful for today. Help them fill up the gratitude journal. You can colorful stickers and pens to spike their excitement and curiosity. This is an excellent way to self reflect and be consciously aware of what we have been blessed with by Allah SWT.
Being thankful towards Allah and those around us is a powerful trait that can bring about positive changes. With these tips, you can help your child inherit these traits from a young age, In Sha Allah.