Thursday, December 29, 2011

teaching an attitude of gratitude

The gifts have been unwrapped and the dust is settling.  What better time than this week to engage the kids in showing their appreciation for the goods?  Even before they are able to write, kids can get in on the thank-you game.  Here are a few ideas:
  • For toddlers, take a photo (with your phone if possible to make it easy to email) of your child enjoying their gift, tell them to "say thank you" when you take it to drive home the point of the exercise, and send it to the recipient.  You could even have them hold up a sign that says "thanks"
  • Encourage your preschool-aged child to draw a picture of themselves with the gift to send to the giver
  • Skype in for a videochat to express appreciation to friends and family who do not get to see your little one often.  This personal thank you, although not formal and written, can be very meaningful.
  • For emerging writers, make your own fill-in-the blank thank you cards that require very little writing (just the recipient of the note, the gift, and the child's signature) to be completed by your child
  • Growing up, the rule at our house was that cash, checks, and gift cards couldn't be spent until a note was sent--that's a good motivator to get older kids to get their notes written.
Whatever you do, engage your child in an age-appropriate discussion of how it feels to choose a gift for someone, and how great it feels when you find out that they liked it.

An attitude of gratitude is a great gift for you to give your child in this season of giving.

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