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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


How to Raise an Appreciative Child

By Andrew Loh

It never hurts to be a thankful person. Does it hurt one when he or she appreciates others with the deepest corners of heart? What happens when your children are appreciative of others and their actions? Did you ever prompt or urge your children to be appreciative to their neighbor or their friends? It is wonderful to raise an appreciative child and to become a thankful child will never hurt or damage his or her credibility.

To be appreciative child also means showing gratitude towards others and stay well-mannered to respond to others well-meaning actions. Research shows that when parents nurture their children with this wonderful life skill, their overall personality becomes dynamic and interactive. Young chidden who are in the age group of five and eight years, may not show an unappreciative behavior because their rudimentary knowledge and skills about the concept of appreciation and gratitude. The most common words of gratitude "thank you" and "please" do not come naturally to them and parents will need to add these words to their dictionary.

Almost all children show a tendency of envy and self-centeredness. They may not be gracious enough to say a simple "sorry" or "thank you" to others. They also believe that the world exists for their sole benefit and they must get what they want almost immediately. If at all they say "sorry" or "thank you" to someone, it is because of some compulsion. Young children do not have any idea about how other people feel about them. In addition, they also face some difficulties comprehending how their friends and others feel about them. Sympathy or empathy forms the basis of appreciation. Young children need some time to understand these words and they need months and years to look beyond their own needs and feelings.

The basic definition for appreciation varies from person to person. For many, appreciation means saying a simple "thank you". For others, raising appreciative children means training their children to show gratitude and empathy towards their friends and elders. In a general sense - you - to be appreciative to others, means stay thankful and grateful towards others and comprehend how cherished values work in life.

For example, when your children morning cereal for breakfast, they might know how that cereal is made nor do they understand the immense difficulty face by farmers to grow grains like wheat and corn. A child may not appreciate the efforts put by the farmer to sow the seeds, raise the seedlings and nurture the young plants until they yield the crop needed to make the breakfast cereal. However, the same farmer's child would appreciate, his or her family, working day and night to make a living from the crop they grow in their farm.

Children learn by seeing what you do in your home. When they see their parents saying "thank you" and "please" while talking to other people, they are more likely to learn the art of saying those words. When children see their parents interact with friends and strangers in friendly mannerisms, they are more likely to learn the same mannerism when they become adults.

Children always copy what their parents do and act. If you express gratitude and appreciation to others, then your children will also learn how to be one. Children are malleable and flexible when you consider their tender age and brain. Make sure that you modify their behavior depending on the developmental stage. It means that when children are below the age of 8 years, they are not ripe for learning the art of appreciation. However, if your children are above the age of 8 years they can learn the art of appreciating other people.

Many people believe that showing appreciation to others for their actions and reactions is a simple social gesture. This is a wrong notion on their part. Appreciation and thankfulness can enhance your social stature and standing. If your children learn that art, they can live a life full of satisfaction and contentment.

When your children learn the art of appreciation, they can get many benefits such as:

  • Develop a close circle of great friends.

  • Receive similar gestures from their friends and elders.

  • Become citizens with gracious and kind mind and intent.

  • Become empathetic and concerned towards people who need them.

Mastering the art of appreciation is a continuous process. It is also complex process especially for young children who are selfish in their heart. However, proper training could easily make them kind and appreciative as they grow up in their mind and age. Continue to read How to Raise an Appreciative Child - Parent's Tips


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