Gracious Children

Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us. It is the time of the year when we think about all the things we are thankful for. Sometimes this is a hard task for adults… is it crazy to ask our children to express what they are thankful for?

In my weekly music classes I attempt to give children the vocabulary needed to express their thanks. When I teach infants we work on the signs for “please” and “thank you.” Older children learn them too.

Most importantly, I model gracious behavior. I thank children by name when they do something kind or helpful. I let them know that I appreciate their behavior. I look them in the eye and say, “thank you.”

Besides using daily manners, children can also learn to appreciate greater things in life. Maybe starting a dinner-time or bed-time routine would be a great way to get your children thinking about all the wonderful things they have in their life.

Start by telling your child what you are grateful for. “I am grateful for a warm house when it is cold outside. I am grateful for a smart caring daughter. What are you grateful for?” Go back and forth. Get those little brains thinking.

Learning to appreciate what we already have is a great key to achieving happiness. What a wonderful gift you are giving your child when you help them see all the beauty in their life and all the wonderful things they are blessed with.