When it's all over, when the crisis has passed, you probably say "Thank you" to your partner or others who have helped you through the crazy. That's a good thing. But do you thank your kids?
Appreciation goes both ways in a household. You want your kids to use manners, of course, say please and thank you, and all that. And you want them to develop appreciation for bigger things. You
need to give that to them, too.
Saying thank you after getting through a crazy time - whether it's a few hours, a few days or weeks, or even longer - doesn't have to be a big production - though it does need to be more than a passing comment. It has to be heartfelt. Sitting down at the dinner table and deliberately saying, "I really appreciate how you helped out while I was trying to make my deadline," or, "It means a lot to me that you helped the way you did. Thank you," does wonders for the family dynamic, as well as boosting your child's self-esteem.
Some people thing that saying thank you to kids for their help or cooperation means a gift, big or small. While it's certainly a nice thing to do, it's not required. It may even send the wrong
signal - that you do nice things for the reward not the act itself. The appreciation itself is gift enough.
Families are our first communities, and it's where we learn how bigger communities work. In the wider communities, thank you isn't said nearly as often as it should be said, and it rarely comes with gifts. Taking care to say thank you and show appreciation in this first community can only help our children show that same spirit in the communities outside our front doors.
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