My Child Doesn't Say Thank You - Part II

My Child Doesn't Say Thank You - Part II

The last blog post introduced an idea for teaching children to say thank you for gifts. Today’s post talks about teaching children to say thank you for kindnesses, favors, and other less tangible ‘gifts.’ One way to approach this problem is by focusing on thank you’s as an expression of gratitude rather than as an aspect of good manners.

There are lots of resources that explain gratitude and give ideas for practicing gratitude: in books, magazine articles, and on the internet. The basic idea is to be consciously or intentionally grateful: for our lives, our loved ones, our talents, their talents, the beauty of the day, a delicious cookie, no cavities at a dental visit, and on and on.  

Parents can model being grateful, just as they can model saying thank you, brushing teeth regularly, talking about feelings, or eating vegetables. Identify, throughout the day, things for which you are thankful and point them out to yourself and your child.

In addition to modeling, a simple idea is to take time every day to list three things for which you are grateful. This can be incorporated at mealtimes, bedtime, or any convenient time that can be part of a routine. Most children will join in this activity and do so eagerly. Also, children can be encouraged to reflect on what they are grateful for and discuss this with their parents or other adults in their lives.  

When children begin to broaden and deepen their awareness and appreciation of the many ‘gifts’ in their lives, thank you’s often follow naturally. 

Blog Disclaimer:  Please be aware that this blog contains general information. It is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as treatment or a recommendation or prescription for a particular child. If you have questions about your child, please talk to your pediatrician or seek other professional services.