How Nannies Can Encourage an Attitude of Gratitude
July 1, 2012 | in Nannies
One thing that many kids struggle with as they grow up is developing an understanding of the necessity of expressing gratitude for the blessings in their life. It’s easy for kids to take these things for granted unless they’re taught otherwise. Nannies can do a lot in the way of helping children learn to be grateful, and not just to be grateful for the things they have, but also to be grateful for their health, the warm sun on their skin, and their family. Nannies are great role models for the children that they take care of and if a nanny has an attitude of gratitude, the children will develop one too.
Here are some practical ways nannies can cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
- Help the kids create a gratitude journal. Find a notebook or journal and have the child personalize it. Encourage her to flip through catalogs or magazines and find pictures of things for which she is grateful. These pictures can go into the journal if the child is too young to write. If you are working with an older child, she can cut out pictures to decorate the front of her gratitude journal. Encourage older children to write down 5 things that they are grateful for each day. Whenever the child is sad, have her take out her journal and remind herself of all of the wonderful things for which she is grateful. According to a study done by Dr. Michael McCullough at the University of Miami, kids who learn to be grateful have higher self-esteem and better relationships.
- Find toys that can be donated. With their parents’ permission, help the kids go through their toy room and box up items they no longer play with. Explain why you are doing this task and that the toys are going to be given to children who don’t have very many toys. Let them know how lucky they are to have all of these toys that they can share with other kids.
- Help your charges write thank you cards. Every time a gift is received, be it a birthday gift or another gift, a thank you card should be sent to the giver. If you start this habit when a child is young he will send them throughout his life and will be more grateful for the things that he receives and for the people who gave them.
- Set a good example by thanking people. Children learn largely by example. If a child sees you thanking people for doing things such as holding the door then he will learn to say thank you too. Thanking people isn’t only about good manners, it’s about being aware of your surroundings and taking notice of the nice things people do for you.
- Bake cookies for a neighbor. Bake some cookies with the kids and talk about why you are making them. Encourage children to show appreciation to others in tangible ways. If a neighbor brings over fresh produce from his garden, bring him a sweet treat in return.
- Establish gratitude rituals. Before the beginning of the evening meal, go around the table and have everyone say one thing that they are grateful for, or say thank you prayers before bed. By regularly getting your charges to talk about the things for which they’re grateful they’ll start to become more vocal on their own.
- Volunteer at a shelter. Contact the local children’s or family shelter and find out what volunteer opportunities are available. Plan an outing where the child can help children that are less fortunate than he is. Hopefully he will feel grateful that he has a home and that he doesn’t need to worry where his next meal is coming from, and will also learn the importance of helping others.
- Find things to be grateful for no matter how big or small. While walking with the kids mention what a beautiful day it is. Be amazed at how pretty the flowers are. When you show gratitude for the world you live in on a daily basis the kids will learn to show gratitude too.
- Encourage him to give part of his allowance to a charity. Help your charge find a charity that interests him. Does he want to buy a goat for the Heifer project? Maybe he wants to donate to the March of Dimes. If he like animals maybe he will want to donate to the humane society. Ask him to use his own money to donate to a charity.
- Buy a thank you present for a coach or teacher. Take your child to buy a gift for his soccer coach at the end of the season, and help him show his gratitude for all of the time that his coach spent with the team. At the end of the school year, help him pick out something small to say thank you.
Nannies play an important role in shaping the lives of the children in their care. Fostering an attitude of gratitude in children will help them develop into caring and appreciative adults.← 5 Reasons to Consider Hiring a Nanny with Kids | 12 Things You Need To Know About the $1,800 Wage Threshold →
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