Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

The Lost Art of ‘Thank You’

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
–Aesop

Does it bug anyone else that Thanksgiving often gets overlooked? Kids plan their Halloween costumes for months, and as soon as it’s over decorations for the holiday shopping season are going up in every store. It seems like we can hardly take the time to celebrate being thankful just one day a year, and we could really be thankful a lot more often than that. Does it really take that much extra energy to acknowledge someone or say “thanks?”

I hope that being thankful is a value I have instilled in my children. Sometimes I have my doubts, though. Just the other day my youngest said, “Yuck! What is that disgusting stuff on the chicken that looks like throw up?” Now, I don’t expect my kids to say, “Gee, thanks for putting food in my belly each and every day,” but I do expect some type of grateful attitude. I know part of it is her age and stage, but come on, chicken nuggets from McDonald’s every night is not going to happen! There is food in our house, and it is edible! I have to remind myself sometimes that teaching children to be grateful is a process, and I’m not going to get overnight results.

Modeling thankfulness for our children is one of the best places to start. Sadly, we often witness ungratefulness in adults. Maybe they are just distracted or overwhelmed by their work or just being a parent, or maybe they don’t know how, because it’s a skill they missed out on as a child. Remember, children learn what they live and what they see from adults, and whether it be ungratefulness or gratitude, it becomes a way of life. It’s never too late or too early to reinforce being thankful in our children.

Looking for tips on just how you can raise grateful children? Check out our latest e-newsletter for parents.

– Debbie

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