Gratitude: Understanding Kindness

If you ask hiring managers in almost any industry, most agree that aside from work-related experience, job candidates who possess soft skills are among the first hired. The reason for this is quite simple; training individuals is well, just part of business, but teaching soft skills is a burden that many employers aren’t willing to assume. So what exactly are soft skills?

Put plainly, soft skills are less about what someone knows and more who about who they are as a person. Think: respect, confidence, reason, control, teamwork, conflict resolution, gratitude, etc. For this month, we’ll focus our practice on “Gratitude”.

What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude in a simple form is the appreciation of others (who they are) and their acts of kindness. Understandably for children the concept of gratitude is difficult to grasp as they spend much of their lives being provided for by others. As a result, they have considerable and unwavering expectations from the care givers in their lives which may make them appear as unappreciative or “spoiled”. Ironically, it’s our acts of love and care that if not managed properly, can implant a sense of entitlement.

To Be Grateful
Our goal this month is to help develop a sense of gratitude with our students through mat chats, lessons and drills. To help support our goal, here are just a few ideas you might try at home:

I. Play the Good Finder Game
Challenge your child to be mindful of those who are kind and to write down those instances. At the end of the week (or month) have your explain which occurrences made the largest impact on them and why. Hint: Don’t forget to make it a game. Try saying, “I bet I can find more acts of kindness today than you can?”

II. Make A Wish List
Ask your child to interview the entire family and/or close friends. Have them make compile a wish list of the things that others want and be sure to have them include why they are important. To help drive hope the lesson, ensure your child understands differences between wants and a needs.

III. Earn It
Assign a point or dollar value to all of your child’s choirs. At the end of the month, let them spend their own money or points to redeem the things they want but encourage them to share what they’ve earned with others before themselves.

IV. Be the Example
When dealing with others, be sure to always offer gratitude and kindness. Children learn how to control their minds and emotions by watching their parent’s examples more so than any other source. As real-world example, if you’re rude to a waiter or waitress, you condone similar behavior for your child. Remember: Thanking others for their time and letting them know you appreciate them purposely and proudly is an amazing lesson for your child to develop their sense of gratitude.


K-South’s Gratitude Patch
Give us a call at 912-385-0208 and we’ll be happy to explain our martial arts and life skills programs. Our goal is to help you achieve your parenting goals while providing positive development both mentally and physically for your child.