Whether it’s a teacher, a parent or a mentor, children have someone in their lives who has made an impact on them; however, young children don’t always have the words to express this gratitude. Carina Salva Lindstrom is helping them find these words in her new book Because You Are Here. The book is a collection of short affirmations of thankfulness for others. Lindstrom also provides translations of words of thankfulness in Spanish, French, Chinese and her native Tagalong, so children can learn gratitude in several languages.
According to Salva Lindstrom growing up to be positive in mind and body is a product of years of inspiration and good influence of people who love, help and care. We are so grateful to the people who encourage our children, and we want our kids to do the same. How do we make them thankful to us: parents, family members, friends, nannies and teachers? She offers these five tips for raising a grateful child:
#1 Show them old pictures.
While you and your child are looking at old pictures, tell the stories each picture reminds you of. Tell them how grateful you are for the memories and the people in them.
#2 Stay connected.
In this age when we have cell phones, the Internet, tablets and so many other ways and means to communicate and reach out, stay connected to the people who care about and love you and your children. Let your child know how thankful you are to have them in your lives. Make an effort to spend time with good people in picnics or other events.
#3 Keep the sentimental things.
Do not give away the doll that your grandma gave you. The time will come when your own daughter will want a doll, and you can pass that special doll on to her, along with the story of gratefulness that goes with it. This also teaches your child to take care of things.
#4 Be the model.
When your child sees how you kept that doll grandma gave you, your child will most likely do the same thing. Kids watch and emulate our ways. They hear us say “Thank you” in the grocery store, to the mailman, at the drive thru, to their nannies, in the playground and any place where people do things for us. Share the precious task of making thank you cards with them.
#5 Give and surround them with good books.
The public library and bookstores have a vast collection of books to help develop good character. By sharing these with your child, you reinforce this lesson once more!