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More Than Please and Thank You

More Than Please and Thank You  11/24/17Happy Thanksgiving!  Thankfulness and gratitude are in season all year long, but I sure do appreciate having a holiday dedicated to those attitudes! 

People who are genuinely grateful most of the time tend to have a more positive outlook on life.  It’s never too late to develop a gratitude attitude.  Likewise, it’s never too early to help young children acquire it. 

“Zero to Three” is a website that serves as a wonderful online resource for people who love and care for children ages 0-3 years old.  One part of the website suggests several
                                                     ways to model gratitude:

  • Show appreciation to your children. Appreciation can be an even more powerful motivator than praise.
  • Show appreciation for others. Never underestimate the power of your words and actions. You set a great example when you model kindness, generosity and gratefulness in your own everyday interactions.
  • Use the word “grateful.” Children need to learn what this new word means.
  • Share “roses and thorns.” Even young children can talk about what went well (roses) and what was hard about each day (thorns). It gives them, and you, too, a chance to vent a frustration and focus on what is good in life.
  • Emphasize presence over presents. You can make giving the gift of time and activities, such as a birthday picnic and trip to a local park, a habit, as opposed to giving “stuff.”
  • Talk openly about donations and other “good deeds.” You don’t have to have a lot of money to make a difference. If you have money in your budget to donate to a favorite cause, share this giving with your children.

On the flip side, when someone thanks us or expresses their gratitude to us for something we did or gave or assisted with, how do we graciously accept their thanks? 

Saying, “You are welcome,” or “My pleasure,” or “Glad I could help,” or “Thanks for the opportunity,” are certainly polite, respectful, appropriate responses. 

Saying something like, “No problem,” or “It was nothing,” is not as appropriate because it negates or takes away the value of the thankful person’s gratitude.

For more information about the gratitude attitude and a list of recommended children’s books on being thankful, check out the Zero to Three website, www.zerotothree.org/resources/2108-nurturing-gratitude.

Sources:  Kim Bushaw, NDSU family science specialist, and https://www.cs.virginia.edu/luther/blog/posts/298.html

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/grateful-thankful-appreciation-1987667/  (downloaded 11/28/17)

 


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