Happy Parenting

Give Children Good Reasons to say Thankyou

Fri, 27 May 11
Give Children Good Reasons to say Thankyou

Give Children Good Reasons 

Announcing her dream to me and to her class the excited 11 year old declared, “I want to be a billionaire!” Her classmates laughed and cheered. “Wow, you’re the first person to tell me you want to be a billionaire. You’ll be able to help a lot of people,” I responded.

“No. No. Oh, no. I’m going to Paris to buy shoes and handbags,” she said. “Well, you’ll have a lot left over and then you can build some hospitals and schools and help lots of people.” More concerned with her shopping spree, she looked unconvinced.

I’ve done readings of my Grandad’s Garden children’s book to thousands of Queensland children over recent months and I involve them by asking their response to the four interactive questions in the book.

Listen in.

What can you say thank you for? The biggest response has been ‘my family’ or ‘that my mum and/or dad loves me’, followed by food (boys), especially chocolate, holidays or family outings, then pets and toys. Bedrooms and clothes rated, but interestingly, TV didn’t get a mention.

Instead of asking ‘Have you got any hurts inside?’ as the book does, I ask them, ‘What makes you sad?’ Most of my readings have been to children from year one to five, but I’ve also read to prep classes and right through to year seven.

So what makes our primary school children sad? Way out front comes; ‘When someone is mean to me’ which involves teasing, pushing, kicking and name calling. Second on the sad list is ‘When someone talks about me behind my back’ and thirdly ‘When others won’t let me be part of their group’

Interestingly, the things that make year ones sad are pretty much the same right through to year seven. When you think about it they’re what make adults sad too.

Unfortunately, what often comes through is ‘That my Dad doesn’t live with us’ or ‘when my mum and dad yell at each other or me’ and sometimes ‘when someone you love dies’.

There have been many moments where I lock eyes with a teacher after a child has shared their pain.

If only it was a matter of waving a wand, but healing the hurts of our children takes a whole lot more. Giving a child as many reasons as possible to say thank you has a powerful impact on their life.

Tags: The Power Of Gratitude