‘Tis the season for gift-giving and sugary treats which means that for parents, it’s also time for an increase in tantrums and bratty behavior. Of course, you want your child to accept Nana's thoughtful holiday gift with open arms and a heartfelt “thank you so much!” but, well, your kid is just as likely to look disappointed (she wanted the other Pokémon bundle) and barely mutter a “thanks” before running off to play with something else. So, how do we teach our kids gratitude this holiday season (and beyond)? Here to help is therapist Christina Furnival with some practical tips.
OK, so let’s go back to the scenario above. As your child rips open the wrapping paper, you immediately prompt them to “say thank you!”
But here’s the rub: Even if your child begrudgingly does say “thank you,” you haven’t actually taught them anything about gratitude. Instead, they’re just repeating your words. (Kind of like how forcing your kid to say “I’m sorry” doesn’t actually work, either.) If you really want your offspring to feel true appreciation and gratitude, you’re going to have to work a little harder (but, like, not too hard). Here are three therapist-approved techniques to do exactly that.