If you value raising children with a heart filled with gratitude, as I am sure you do, how do you ensure you hit your mark? One answer may be through the utilization of “experiential learning”. What do I mean? Observation has shown that frustration often sets in with parents when their children make an insensitive or selfish comment. Parents think, “If only my child knew how lucky they are!”
Well, for better or worse, all a child knows is their OWN experience. As it is for adults, it is difficult to see tragedy in other parts of the world and bring the grateful experience back into your everyday consciousness. After all, it took Scrooge, a trip back in time and a trip to the future to really appreciate the opportunities he had before him.
And while as parents we don’t want to create painful experiences for our children, I have found the closer we can get to a challenging circumstance the better. Here are some examples:
How to Teach Your Child to Stay Motivated
Posted: May 17, 2019
Have you ever had the experience of listening to a parent talk about their child’s attitude regarding an activity like dance, gymnastics, baseball, theater, karate, etc. and hear them say something like, "Jimmy loves his classes once he's at them. After class he's talking about how great it was and he always leaves with big smile on his face. But sometimes, I have a hard time getting him to his classes. Jimmy's watching TV or a friend asks him to play or he's in the middle of a game and he gives me a hassle about going to the activity. Has this ever happened to you?”
Child psychologists call this being "Present Oriented" and it's typical in young children, but certainly extends to teens. They don't want to break away from what they are doing now, no matter what! They have not learned the concept we like to call "stacking." If this happens to you or to a parent you are in conversation with here is a script that you may find very helpful.
Sit down with your child and ask, "Jimmy, can you build a nice castle or high tower if I give you a bunch of blocks?"