My four year old runs inside from playing outside.
"Mom! Can we have a fruit snack?"
"No, we're going to have spaghetti for dinner in a few minutes."
"We are!!! You buy it at the store??? THANK YOU Mom!!!"
How can that not melt your heart? The "Thank You" alone would win this kid just about anything he wanted in those 5 minutes - he happens to be a pretty cute 4 year old too! ;) And even though we have (to the best of our tired abilities) raised all 5 of our boys the same, the "Pleases" and "Thank Yous" are sometimes lost in translation. This is something we really want to instill in our kids. An Attitude of Gratitude.
In a world where we are given so much, expect so much in an instant, patience and thankfulness have almost become of thing of the past. When we took our kids to Disneyland in October my 10.5 year old started whining about the length of the line for the ride we were in. (Note: By the powers of Walt Disney himself probably, we were able to go into the park an hour early - before the park officially opens - even though our tickets did not include an extra hour that day. So the whining and ingratitude was not sitting well at all.) I quickly let this darling child know 2 things: 1) At Disneyland all lines are long. That is what we came for - to stand in long lines and enjoy it! 2) This was going to be a great opportunity for him to learn patience!
Try these 5 Tips for growing the gratitude at your house!
Tip #1: Set an example. Say those magic words and say them a lot! The repetitiveness of hearing those wonderful words will do - well, wonders!
Tip #2: Show your appreciation by letting them know you noticed real effort on their part when they clean up their room, put laundry away, make their bed etc.
Tip #3: For little ones, teach through role play with stuffed animals. Nothing says manners like a tea party!
Tip #4: Provide opportunities for them to give service to someone or some deserving organization. The more you serve others the bigger that gratitude grows inside you!
Tip #5: Make a Thankful List. It's amazing what pops up on a list when you sit down to list Every Single Thing you are grateful for. (This is a great Thanksgiving Family activity too!)
As we all pause this time of year to consider the things we are grateful for, take a minute to try these tips out on your kids. Hopefully, a few more "Pleases" and "Thank Yous" will come your way!
--Miss Amy :)
Miss Amy: I love teaching kids and watching that "A-ha!" moment happen when all the dots connect and the light bulb goes on! There's nothing better!