Teaching Thankfulness

In the November issue of ParentLife, Kay Harms helps parents teach their children the art of saying thanks through thank-you notes. Be sure not to miss her practical tips for helping your child exercise gratitude!

For even more help, check out the following resources related to gratefulness and manners.


How do you teach your children manners? Do you have any great tips to share with ParentLife readers?

Saying Thanks

We most often think about giving thanks during the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though it’s not close to November, today I feel like taking a moment to think about thankfulness.

29_ThankYouNote.jpgI don’t know about you, but I was raised in a home where I was taught to express my thankfulness for gifts by writing thank-you notes. Every Christmas, my brother and I always knew a pack of thank-you cards would be in our stockings. The same was true for our birthdays. My mom was so good about making sure we expressed our appreciation when others showed us kindness. I am so thankful for her example! (Maybe I should write her a thank-you note!)

And while I have not been as consistent about writing thank-you notes as an adult, the basic principle has been established. I still try to do the best I can to show my gratitude even if it’s not in the form of a formal, handwritten note.

Now that I am a mother, setting the example of thankfulness has taken on a new sense of urgency. I want Jack to grow up with a grateful heart and a thankful spirit. I want him to appreciate the importance of saying thank you … not just at Thanksgiving but every day of the year.

Saying thank you is just one of the many social manners we are responsible for teaching our children. Be sure to check out this month’s “Dr. Mom® column for practical strategies for teaching your child to be polite.

What are some fun ways you have taught your children to say thank you? Or what are some creative ways people have shown you thanks?