Friday, December 4, 2015

Parent Tips: Develop a spirit of appreciation

As a parent, you no doubt have experienced the feelings of hurt that accompany doing multiple tasks for your family without an acknowledgment of appreciation. Often, it may seem that life revolves so much around your kids that there is little left of you by the end of the day. In short, your efforts may well be taken for granted.  This self-centeredness is super common among kids so do not think that it's a pattern found only in your household. common, I would respectfully suggest that such a characteristic is not healthy for your children as they become old enough to comprehend what is being done for them. Here are a few thoughts about the family state of affairs and building respect.

Having your teens share in duties and responsibilities helps with improving their awareness of what it takes to keep a family going. When children do a task themselves it helps boost their insight about work. They may respond with complaints to you or their peers; for example, "I hate doing this." But that recognition is part of coming to grips with work and responsibility. The clothes need to be washed whether it's fun or not; and most of us have to get over it, quit complaining, and just do it.

Secondly, getting your kids to help with family tasks gives you the opportunity to thank them. Your children will likely feel good about the positive recognition for their efforts. And importantly, such positive feedback models for them how to show appreciation to others. Gratitude is a sentiment too often missing in today's communications in our society.  And saying thanks is a powerful expression of good will.

Finally, appreciation is contagious and may be spread around at home and in other environments. Younger children will model older siblings in a positive way. And your children will likely find that expressing gratitude to their teachers, friends, and others will be a welcomed sentiment. Compared to arguments and conflicts, you will find that an atmosphere of appreciation for efforts is a welcomed relief.

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