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  • Writer's picturePeggy D. Sideratos

Teaching Children the Importance of Gratitude and the Difference Between Wants and Needs

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Hello friends, and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Today's post is about teaching children the importance of gratitude. When babies are born, they are absolutely adorable, but inherently selfish. They have no other way to communicate, so when they are uncomfortable or have some need to be met, they cry out, and get taken care of. As children, they get accustomed to that pattern and expectation, which is generally fine, because the job of a parent is to meet the child’s needs. That said, they can however become so accustomed to getting all their needs met, that they expect to also get all their “wants” met. While most parents would love to fulfill all their children’s desires, this can become a slippery slope. There is a fine line between giving and spoiling. A spoiled child has more difficulty understanding the concept of gratitude because everything is given to them. They struggle to understand the concept of earning something. My late father taught my brother and I the value of earning something by having us help out at the restaurant he owned. We learned firsthand how hard he had to work in order to provide for us, and when we were older, we worked at the store during the summers. This also taught us to have a different appreciation for money because we earned it ourselves. I am a big proponent of giving children age appropriate responsibilities to do at home. Some parents use an allowance system in conjunction with this, but it’s not always necessary. I think it’s important to teach children that it is part of their responsibility to take care of their home. We grew up working together in our home as a team. Each person needed to play their part, and this taught us to have a greater appreciation for our home and take greater pride in it. Also, don’t forget to remind children to always say “Thank you.”


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