We all try to teach our kids gratitude, by both example and word. They hear it from us when someone holds a door open for us or picks up the shoe that the baby kicked off. We remind them, “Did you say ‘Thank you!’ to Grandma for the nice gift?” But, sometimes, it’s nice to do a little bit more.
We’ve got a pretty great uncle who, when the kids were all younger, would sometimes pick up a Costco-sized container of chocolate milk powder for them – just for fun. The kids adored him for it! Not just for that, of course. It was the fact that someone was thinking of them!! Well, one day he stopped by with the chocolate milk stuff, but along with that, presented the kids with a big package of Oreos!!! They were in heaven! (and so was their friend who was over to play) So, instead of just texting him a “Thanks!” – we wanted to make our thanks a little more personal. So, we put together the fun picture up above and sent it over to him. It was still just a “Thanks!”, but a little bit more.
We also added in another photo of them thoroughly enjoying their treats:
Another time (more recently), I’d pulled up to the school to pick up the kids and the teachers noticed I had a flat tire. Not only did they notice it, but they helped me change it! So kind of them! So, we spent some time, writing thank you notes and making cake balls – just to say thanks for their help.
We don’t always wait for a special occasion though. As a matter of fact, I try to remember, at least once a month, to pull out my stash of cards and construction paper, and we take some time to make thank you notes. (this photo’s a little grainy, but you get the idea)
I encourage them to write at least one thank you note to someone. It can be to anyone for anything, as long as it’s sincere. Even when all of them weren’t writing, we’d talk about something they wanted to say thanks for and they’d draw a picture and then dictate to me what they wanted the card to say. It’s a great practice in counting your blessings as well – it never hurts to teach kids while they’re young how to view their world through grateful eyes. And, it’s great handwriting, spelling, and grammar practice! Bonus! 😉
A “thank you!” – little or big – is never wasted. It’s so good for kids (and adults) to know that. And it’s such a good antidote for when we get a little too wrapped up in ourselves.