I recently heard the words of a wise educator giving a talk. It resonated so deeply, that I cannot help but repeat them. He said there are “A” students and “A” human beings in life. There’s a big difference. One comes with a moral foundation. Getting A’s looks good on report cards, but holding the door open for someone actually shows they’re “A” human beings.
There are some serious benefits for teenagers being grateful. For one, being happier and having less behavior problems, and two...they’re less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. How’s that for conquering the teenage epidemic of being spoiled and entitled?
We can say all we want about being appreciative and being grateful for what we have to our teenagers, but actually practicing it and modeling it ourselves as parents is another thing.
Parents take heed in listening to yourselves on a daily basis. Complain much? Is the drive to dropping off and picking up from school getting to you? Is it awful that you have a few loads of laundry to do for the family? Call me sappy, but lately I’ve been telling my girls, “be thankful you have chores to do and where you can actually do them yourself! I tell them they’re healthy and blessed to be in a position where they don’t need anyone else’s assistance.” Never take anything for granted is my motto. I don’t care how many times my children have heard me say it. As long as they internalize the message and are grateful for the things they can do and the things they have, then I know that being the nagging mom is working. I may get the occasional eye roll or sigh, but at least I know they’re listening! They just need to follow with the act of being thankful.
Here’s an insightful question…Do your kids show kindness only when they know others are watching, or only when you’re present? Have you ever heard from others (friends, teachers, acquaintances) that your child actually went out of his/her way to do something nice for someone? Hmmm. Something to think about.