First: Practice gratefulness yourself
Children learn best by watching their parents model good habits, including gratitude, on a regular basis. Spend some time in self-reflection, watching for ways you show you are thankful and content to your friends and family. If you are struggling, or if you haven’t been modeling thankfulness at home, talk about it with your children and let them know you plan to improve. “Model being grateful as a parent to your partner and your kids yourself,” encouraged Laurie Hollman, PhD, author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence. “Ask them how they feel when they are thanked and appreciated. This is a good way to learn about the importance of being grateful.” Check out these quotes to inspire gratitude.
Expect your children to say “Thank you”
Saying “thank you!” is a habit kids have to be taught. If you have neglected teaching them to say this phrase, don’t worry, it is never too late to start. Ask them to say thank you for the everyday ways others serve them. “When you do something even ordinary for your kids, like laundry, tell them you love them and are glad to do it, but would also like to be noticed for your work,” says Dr. Hollman. “Tell them your feelings: that you like to be there for them but also like feeling good when you know they appreciate and notice your work. Children like to hear parents’ feelings and respond in kind.” Here’s how to write a heartfelt thank-you note.