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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Children do not naturally express thanks; they need to learn the importance of doing so and then practice it in daily life until gratitude becomes a part of how they express themselves to others. Consider these ways to help teach children in your life to say thank you. It is a skill they will carry for the rest of their lives.

Reward system.
Thank children for thanking others. You can keep small treats, such as candy to be given in private when you notice that your child has done a good job of thanking others.

Shy children can haven an especially difficult time thanking adults aloud. Have them practice what they will say at home or in the car before going out. Remind them that while you know it's not easy, it is a very important skill to learn.

Offer Reminders.
Children can get overexcited going to a big gathering or other event. Remind them beforehand the importance of having good manners and saying thank you. a quick reminder in the car can help a child remember when the time comes.

Play a Counting Game.
Have children count in their head how many times they were able to thank people for different things and report back in their car after an event. It will aid in their manners and help their memory and counting skills as well.

Model Positive Thank Yous.
Show children thank you notes or gifts you are sending out, or bring children along when you are delivering a thank you. Modeling how you thank your friends and family will help them to thank their friends as well.

After a party or play-date, ask your child if their friends did anything kind or generous for them. Then ask if they remembered to thank their friends. Helping your child to remember kindnesses done to them and thinking through their reactions will help to shape their future reactions. Remember to praise them if they did say thank you to their friends.

Talk to you child about the importance of saying thank you. Ask them questions about how they feel when a friend thanks them for sharing or helping and how they feel when no one thanks them. Children will be more likely to remember to thank others when they can associate their own feelings with their expression.

Expect a Thank You.
Sometimes adults can get so busy in other things that they forgot to listen for a thank you. Discipline yourself to expect a thank you from your children -- don't be in such a rush that you forgot the importance of manners in the home.

Help Create a Special Thank You.
Work with your child to create a special thank you to take to a friend or neighbor who has done something nice for them.

Put Them in Charge of Thank You Cards.
When they are still very young, make sure that children sign and send all their own thank you cards for birthday, Christmas, or other gifts. This will create a great habit for later in life.

(Source: SMART STYLE 101 Ways to Say Thank you)

posted by infraternam meam @ 5:11 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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