Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Parent to Parent: Being Grateful
OK, parents before you go crazy buying your kids gifts this holiday season, listen up. How can you teach your children to be grateful for what they have? Dr. Valerie doles out some sound advice in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Elana Davidov: "Let's clean up all your toys together."
Like most 4-year-olds, Jesse Davidov has a lot of toys. His mom Elana admits it's hard to say "no."
Elana Davidov: "He's getting better now, if he wants a toy, and I say 'no, then no,' but most of the time he gets the toy."
Raising three children and meeting their needs hasn't been easy, but Elana has always tried to teach them to be grateful for what they do have.
Elana Davidov: "I teach them manners. I teach them to say 'yes, say 'no,' 'thank you,' 'goodbye,' say 'hi' when you see each other."
Seven's Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie Goode says teaching gratitude is a two-way street.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Being grateful means not only appreciating what you've been given, but also that you feel you need to give something back, you need to reciprocate."
Dr. Valerie says children are more likely to feel gratitude when they receive something they want, but the gift must also have meaning to the giver and the gift must be given with good intentions and without obligation.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "So, if you give your child something to be quiet, then probably your child is not going to feel grateful."
Dr. Valerie says a good exercise is to have kids say "Thank you" ten times a day to someone. It helps create a new way of looking at life. Also, they should stop and think about what they're thankful for before bedtime.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "They really have to reflect on who they are, what's been given to them, not just what they don't have and what problems they've caused other people."
Like lots of parents, Elana still wants to give her kids everything they want, but she's a lot more careful about giving in every time.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "They're grateful for what they have. Of course they would like to have more, but not right now."
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Valerie also says parents should limit the number of toys they buy their children. She recommends a child should not have more toys than they can pick up themselves."
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