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How to Raise Thankful Children

My grandson thanked me the other day for making his bed while he was at school.  What a surprise!  I have tried to teach him to say thank you, of course, but for something that small?

Well\, why not?  It started me thinking.

I have made it a practice to thank him for picking up his mess, whether on his own or when he was told.  Yet, somehow I was surprised when he actually thanked me for making his bed.

We have to correct our children more than we would like.  Isn’t it nice to catch them doing something they should and simply say thank you so they know we notice the good, too?

How do we encourage them to be thankful?  Most parents do teach their children to say thank you when someone gives them something.  Maybe we teach them to thank someone for holding the door or picking up something they dropped.  How about telling the teacher thanks for doing the extra work to bring in materials for a craft to do in the classroom?  Maybe thanking a parent for inviting them to come over and play with their child?  Maybe telling the neighbor that you enjoy their Christmas decorations and how it makes the neighborhood look better?  There are countless opportunities to thank people every day.

I takes time to grow thankfulness.  It takes reminders.  Maybe the best way is to be an example.  Have you thanked your grandchild for cleaning his room or working on his homework without complaining?  Do you thank your husband if he puts his plate in the sink?  Does your grandchild see you thanking others for random little things?  I have several grown children.  Some of them are rather selfish, to say the least.  I thanked my daughter one day for being the good person she is.

This is the perfect time of year to concentrate on thankfulness.  Thanksgiving is this week.  Talk to your grandchild about what they are thankful for.  It may surprise you.  Tell them what you are thankful for.

Who knows?  This may help combat the “I want” mentality that Christmas brings for children.

I saw this idea online.  Make a paper turkey.  Let the children write something on each feather that they are thankful for.  Or you could have a Thanksgiving jar and everyone put in one or more slips of paper with something written on each about what they are thankful for

If you can practice thankfulness through the year by taking time to thank others for little things, your child will notice.  Maybe it will be contagious!




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