Estimated read time : 6 minutes
So it’s taken the lockdown for a lot of us to realise how grateful and blessed we are to have what we have. We have paused and learned to appreciate the little things in our lives that make us truly happy. We’ve now truly learnt to count our blessings.
Some of us have started appreciating the people we have around us – friends and family for the emotional support they extend and domestic staff that make our day easier to handle. Having a roof over our head and clean food to eat has dawned on us as a great privilege in the wake of so many families who have been left without an income/home during the pandemic. There a number of reasons why every parent should teach their kids about gratitude as well and appreciating what we have.
Something that started as a school activity for my daughter has become an important part of the day for me and my 8-year-old. The gratitude jar – though it sounds a little simple, it’s helped us appreciate and give thanks for our day and lives in a profound manner.
We first took a transparent jar with a lid on it and decorated it. Using the coloured paper and ribbons at home, we made it pretty and quite funky. The task then was that every day we would take a piece of paper, write the date and something we were grateful for – one slip of paper for me and one for her.
We would not show it to each other while writing and open them only at the end of the week to discuss them on Sunday.
Of course, sometimes I would feel like peeking and checking her slip when she looked very happy or pensive but curbed my urge to do so. The surprise of understanding how and what your child is thinking and why has helped us communicate more and understand each other better too.
It has so far played an immense role in making us better individuals.
We often wonder how to encourage our children to be grateful for what we have and struggle to make them appreciate the resources that they have access to.
I know we tell them stories about how little was available when we were children or about the underprivileged around us. However, these are sometimes very difficult for the children to understand as they are not able to relate considering what they have been given today.
The gratitude jar gives them an opportunity to introspect and is an easy way to help bond, connect and inculcate in them the art of appreciating what they have.
So initially it started with the common things like “loving parents” (this was her first Gratitude slip) and “friends like XYZ”. Slowly, as we went forward with this ritual, my daughter went deeper into herself to come up with unique aspects to be grateful for. Some were sensitive and some were fun, I am listing them down here to share my joy –
One of the days when she was feeling irritated and annoyed with everything at home (and not wanting to heed to anything I would tell her), I asked her to open her Gratitude Jar and read all her slips. Though hesitant at first, when she started reading them, she started smiling and soon was singing again.
Also Read: All About the Joy of Giving
Besides the Gratitude Jar, here are a few other things you can do at home to ingrain the value of contentment in your child –
Do it in your own way and figure what works best for you and your child. Pause, take a step back, appreciate. And do it with your child/ren. It makes the world a better place.