Good Character: 3 Ways To Raise Gracious Children
Many parents often wonder if they are parenting correctly, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The thing is that in our hurry-up and material culture, graciousness often falls by the wayside, making it hard to teach our kids values. “Do as I say, not as I do!” Does that sound familiar to you? But as you might already know, children learn from what they see rather than what people tell them to do.
Before we move on, remember that the greatest gift you can give your kids is to teach them to be gracious people. If you’re now thinking about how to do that, here are some ways to raise gracious children.
Help Them Understand Why
Let’s make one thing crystal clear: being gracious is not about trying to be fancy, showing off, or blindly following a strict set of rules. It is about putting other people’s needs before our own or at least trying to consider their needs before ours.
Giving Detailed Examples
That said, it is also important to show your children how to act in a way that shows this principle. You need to explain to them what it means to be gracious, how to act, how their choices and good deeds can affect others, and how that shows good character. You can help them learn this behavior by introducing them to different organizations to volunteer with and teaching them other ways to be gracious.
Being Gracious Through Role Modeling
Immanuel Kant once said that theory without practice is empty, and practice without theory is blind. This is where role modeling comes into play.
It is no secret that a couple’s relationship has a tremendous impact on their children. For example, if you are angry or disappointed with your spouse, interactions with people around you will almost certainly suffer.
In fact, you may start blaming others for things that happen or even lose your temper. If your child can’t see what graciousness looks like at home or in public places, it will be much harder for them to be gracious to complete strangers.
Graciousness Through Interactions
Prioritize even the simple interactions with your kids. One way to do this is by taking them outside so they can experience the benefits of outdoor play. They’ll learn how to play well together, and knowing what good sportsmanship and sharing mean will help them grow and understand selflessness.
There is nothing wrong with giving your children responsibilities like chores to ensure you are not raising an entitled child. These tasks can be as simple or difficult as you wish to make them—just make sure it’s not too heavy of a load. You don’t want your children resenting you. Make sure to give them achievable goals.
Hard Work and Praise
Don’t forget to reinforce their doings and graciousness through rewards—this is one of the most powerful ways to raise gracious children. You will begin to see the fruits of your labor once they see that they are truly loved and appreciated.
Offering help without expecting something in return has bettered our communities for centuries. By examining the three ways to raise gracious children given above, you can tell what good character ought to look like. Although this is merely a guide, you can still use it to help your children along in the process.
Photo – Antoni Shkraba