Q: How can I, as a father, counteract the influence of our self-centred culture and teach my children to be grateful?
A: A famous philosopher once said, “Gratitude is the mother of all virtues.” If that’s true, then you’re doing your children a huge favour by looking to cultivate this attitude in them. Here are three suggestions:
First, point out the sacrifice and positive contributions that others make in our society: the fireman or police officer who risks his life to protect us; the garbage collector who keeps our home clean; the public official who diligently serves to better our community. And so on.
Second, model thanking others for what they do. Let your children hear you telling your wife what a wonderful meal she cooked. Let them hear you thank the motorist who lets you in front.
Third, teach your children to give back. Gratitude and appreciation is encouraged when your children make a charitable gift with their own money. As a family, find a volunteer activity you can do together. Take presents to an underprivileged family.
By taking these three steps, you will be cultivating in your children one of the best things you can give them: a thankful heart.
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