Thursday, January 17, 2013

Expressing Gratitude With Kids

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

I don't know about you, but I think putting pen (or in this posts' case, crayon) to paper is a lost art. I love to write and journal, but admittedly, I don't do it on paper near enough. I'm slowly starting to get back in the habit of it though. And there's nothing more I enjoy than receiving a handwritten piece of mail, like a thank you note or a card.

Our four year old is learning how to write all his letters at school, and he's gotten so good at it. He can spell his name, his brother's name, mommy, and daddy. (I'm bragging on him a bit!) I love watching him put his pencil or crayon on paper and form letters with hand.

In our home, we want to teach our boys to show thanks and gratitude for what might seem like the smallest thing (Christmas presents are not small, by the way). We've noticed the our oldest is picking up on some of the grumbling we do about our finances, the constant mess of our house, or frustrations about other things. Every now and then we'll hear him repeat some of the things we've said.

Not good. Definitely not what we want him to pick up on! And you know what? We have a ton of things to be grateful and thankful for. We shouldn't be grumping around like our lives are so bad.

So we've decided to change things around and start expressing how thankful and grateful we are for...well really everything!

Now that he's gaining the ability to write more everyday, we've decided to start adding to that skill by teaching him to show gratitude through thank you notes. 

We've been slow about getting them done (mommy's fault), but we are working on sending out thank you's for his Christmas gifts. Maybe we'll get them done by February at this rate.

Here he is helping to write his first thank you note to his cousin. Of course, all he can do right now is write her name and his name and I pen the letter. But the point of this exercise is to talk about how we show our gratitude and thanks to others by writing notes to them!

By doing this simple exercise of writing thank you notes, we're really hitting a lot of important areas in our boys' life:
  • He's learning how to show gratitude
  • He's learning scripture
  • He's learning how to improve his writing skills
  • He's getting that all-important one on one time with mommy (or daddy)
This is such an easy, important task for us to instill in him.

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

How have you taught your kids to show gratitude? I'd love to know!