Who says that a thank you has to be in the form of a hand written note? There's nothing wrong with being traditional, but sometimes even a thank you note needs a makeover! Brainstorm with your child and come up with creative alternative ideas for how he can show his gratitude. From making a video to creating a giant thank you card to taking a picture with the gift they're saying thank you for, when you make it fun, you'll hopefully be met with less sighs and eye rolls next time around.
After your child has taken the time to say thank you or make a creative thank you (see above!), ask Grandma or Grandpa or Aunt Betty to let your child know that his or her thoughtfulness was appreciated. Basically, ask your loved one to say thank you for the thank you. As funny as that might sound, if kids see the benefits of their efforts, they'll be more inclined to repeat the behavior. And maybe next time, it will be your child's idea, not yours.
Be an example
Practice what you preach. If you want your child to say thank you, you need to remember to say it, too. And not just when you receive a gift, but when someone compliments you, holds the door open for you or even when your husband does something simple like taking out the trash. From the little things to the big things and everything in between, those two little words can be just as impactful when your child says them as when he or she hears them. And the same goes for sending thank you notes. Show your child that it's not only important to you to send them, but to send them in a timely fashion -- not six months later!
Be thankful every day
Teach your child to be grateful for what he or she has every day. Make the importance of appreciating life's blessings a regular topic of conversation in your household. A great way to do this is to make it a family affair. Have everyone in the family start a gratitude journal. (Remember when Oprah started all that?) Then find a time every week to share the highlights from the journals. It will be fun to find out not only what stands out for your child as being special, but also what tops your child's list. (Maybe mom does?)
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