This time of year we are always consumed with messages of thanks, images of people helping, and reminders of being thankful! It's Thanksgiving and yes it's a great time for a reminder, but we really should be thankful ALL year round!!!
I read the following article today which stemmed from me reading an article on the same page about raising moral children. Well, this article is about being gracious and grateful. It talked about being smart about timing your Thanksgiving meal and being sure to prepare your kids for the difference in schedules. It did also mention teaching your kids about how they should thank people for the gifts they receive even if they don't like them. All of these are good things, but it also mentioned kids learn from us!
Let me repeat my last sentence: KIDS learn from US!!!! So, when someone holds a door for you, offers to let you go ahead, brings you cookies, comments on your cute top, ANYTHING, you should also say Thank You! We get on our kids for this all the time and tell them to use their manners, but do we use them? I'm not saying I do all the time either and there are times I feel too tired to acknowledge someone, but the kids do see this.
One of my biggest pet peeves has been (and probably always will be) people not even acknowledging a good deed or a gift sent. I get it; we are all busy, but in today's world we have so many outlets. Even a simple text message to say Thank You is better then nothing at all!!! I like to know my package has arrived to the person I sent it to, or that they appreciated my going the extra mile to help them out. Yes, we do tend to say Thank You to the person when we are face to face for the gift being given or the deed being done, but I tell you what: sending a note a few days later.....that will really drive home the idea that you appreciated what was done.
I know the times of actually writing out a Thank You card are almost a distant memory, but I still make my daughter write Thank You notes for gifts she's been given. When she was smaller I'd have her draw pictures for the person who sent it. We slowly progressed to actual written thank you notes acknowledging the gift and saying Thank You for it. Sometimes we video message the gift giver now, because let's face it technology is awesome!!!! But we do tell people Thank You for their gifts no matter how small and sometimes we even write Thank You notes too. Usually for Christmas and Birthdays where lots of gifts are always given I make sure to have the kids do Thank You notes in addition to Thank you calls, texts, videos, whatever we do the day we opened them. It's all about being sure the person giving knows we appreciate the efforts and that my kids don't just think they can get stuff without being thankful for them. It's hard to slow down and write a note; it's even harder to get the kids to sit down and do this. You can space it out and not make them write ten notes in a day, but be sure they do thank everyone who does or gives them something.
Need a cute printable Thank You note? I found some here. They are adorable and 4 per sheet so you have plenty to get started.
My title mentioned a good reminder. Thanksgiving is always a good reminder to us all to be thankful and count our blessings! I want you to take it a step further and remember it year round!!! Try to make an effort to send a random note of thanks in say, July. Don't forget to include the kids in being thankful!
I'm having my oldest write a note every day this week of what she's thankful for about her daddy. We do things like this all the time; we actually have a frame that says "I love you because...." and we fill it in with different reasons all year!
We switched it to say "we are thankful for daddy because..." Just trying to embrace the thankfulness of this time of year and she's off of school so it's a good time to have her changing it out daily!
So I'll leave you with this thought: while its great to be reminded during the holidays to be thankful, please try to remember throughout the year and show your kids ways they can appreciate what's done for them too!