Create an “Appreciation” App for Children and Teens
As the Thanksgiving season approaches, November is known as a time for children and adults to focus on being thankful and appreciative. Unfortunately, this may be the only time of the year many children, teens, and even adults, think about things for which they are grateful, value and hold dear.
This season of thanks is a perfect time to start a new ritual or expand an existing one with your children or teens to create a deeper sense of gratitude, kindness and appreciation that lasts the whole year.
It’s a great time to create an Appreciation ‘App’.
“Grateful kids look outside their one-person universe and understand that their parents and other people do things for them… prepare dinner, dole out hugs, buy toys, etc. Lewis continues saying “On the flip side, kids who aren’t taught to be grateful end up feeling entitled and perpetually disappointed.”
~ www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/behavioral/teaching-children-to-be-grateful/ By Charlotte Latvala
Apps are specialized programs that are easy to use. Your family can create an Appreciation “App” to use long after your turkey dinner is cleared away. Work with your children and teens to develop a ‘program’ where gratitude, appreciation and kindness are shown with thoughts, words, attitude and actions. When used and encouraged on a regular basis, these acts become a part of your life.
How do you start to create your family, teens or child’s App?
When interacting with your family members make a point to often say, “I am grateful for…..”
To young children: That hug, my favorite food, a book to share….
To teens: That you came home on time, took a few minutes to share with me, helped without being asked…
From a young age, children will start to copy what you say. Young ones quickly pick up the meaning behind the words. Teens, too, begin to imitate that which makes them feel good.
Saying you are grateful is step one to your App. But going a step further to say, “I really appreciate when you picked up your room without me asking,” you emote an even stronger feeling. There is a higher vibration to the word appreciate. Using the powerful energy of appreciation opens the door (to even more ) to the next level of your app.
Another way to program your child or teen’s Appreciation “App” is through small, random acts of kindness.
Opening a door or helping someone with a difficult task are actions that show appreciation. Donating toys, games or clothes with your child’s active participation is a great way to demonstrate appreciation for what they have and for what others don’t have. It shows children and teens the power of a simple act of kindness that becomes a loop allowing the giver and receiver to be in uplifting the energy of appreciation.
Start to program your Appreciation App. Brainstorm ideas with your family. Make it fun. At dinner or bedtime, play a game and see how many things you and your child(ren) can list to be grateful for that day, what they appreciate or where they gave (or received!) kindness.
As you use the words grateful, thanks and appreciation, it helps your family to focus on more than material things. Taking this approach:
- Helps children and teens focus on someone other than themselves
- Develops a sense of thoughtfulness and kindness
- Bolsters their sense of value
When your family uses their Appreciation App and takes a deeper more mindful approach to gratefulness, you will begin to hear your children communicate appreciation for the help they receive from others: a teacher, coach or a friend. Oh, how thankful you will be! What a difference this world will become!