Simple but powerful words. Words we don’t say enough. An attitude we rarely show.
We teach our kids to say thank you; it ranks right up there with ‘please.’ However, saying the words and meaning it are two different things. It is hard, sometimes, to not only say the words thank you but for the person receiving the thank to feel appreciated.
That is why we also need to demonstrate our gratitude. As parents, we should teach our kids to say thank you, but also teach them to show others they are thankful for gifts received.
Help children use these 5 creative ways to show they are thankful.
Five Ways to Show Gratitude
- Say Thank You: Always a good place to start. Parents need to teach and reinforce children to say thank you. It does not matter if you received a small or grand gesture. Looking a person in the eyes and saying thank you has a big impact.
- Write a Note: The thank you note is becoming a lost expression, like holding open a door for someone. Help them handwrite a simple note and send it in the mail. Even better- they can make their own thank you card.
- Return Kindness with Kindness: Have the child think about ways for them to repay a kindness with a kind act. Return the kindness or pay the kindness forward. Kids can help is all sorts of ways, from yard work to washing a car. There is nothing quite like showing gratitude than through acts of kindness towards others.
- Give a Thoughtful Gift: Sometimes a gift is an appropriate expression of thankfulness. It does not need to be expressive, just from the heart. A thankful gift is a hand drawn picture or helping to bake cookies. Kids can pass out stickers or donate a toy or book.
- Give a Hug: Nothing says thank you better than a hug. If your child is willing then encourage thanks with a hug. Some kids don’t like to hug, that is okay. A handshake, high-five or smile is just as effective.
We all like to feel appreciated. While many people don’t do things to get a thank you, a thank you, whether spoken or given, is a nice gesture. Teach kids to be thankful, to say thank you and to show thankfulness.
What other ways can a child show they are thankful?
It’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s thankful people who are happy.