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Thankfulness, Thankfulness is what we need!

November 27, 2010

How has your child said thank you this past week?  Perhaps he or she has been extra sweet, helping you around the house, or they gave you a hug for no reason! Being thankful is an important character trait because it shows that you are grateful for the things you have. It’s also important because we should be thankful no matter where we are in life, that is we should be content.  Children are often not content and not thankful. In a world that says “have it now” and “have it your way”, instant gratification is the norm, and saying please and thank you is a hard concept to teach!

How do you teach please and thank you?  First of all you teach by example.  When you sit down to dinner, say: “Thank you, honey, for making dinner.”  Or perhaps your wife helped you rake the leaves this past week. If so, then say, in front of your child, “thank you for helping me with the leaves!”.  Even though your child doesn’t respond, they are listening!  Show them how to be thankful by example!  Next, teach them the words and the appropriate time to say “please” and “thank you” using sign language. You can find a video for “please” here: http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi and a video for “thank you” here: http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi . When your child is paying attention to you, teach them the sign, then practice using the sign at the dinner table, after a bath, after a story, when wanting food, a story, or a diaper change.  You can help him or her do the sign, then after awhile encourage them to do the sign. Do not give them what they want if they don’t do the sign, for the purpose is to help them learn that they cannot have everything they want, when they want it. Finally, practice saying please and thank you to other people, teachers, store clerks, and grandparents! It takes a lot of practice, but your child will become more polite and more content.

Also, don’t forget to sing thank you and please! Just like the “toys away” song in Kindermusik, sing: “it’s time to be thankful”, or “it’s time to say thank you”, or “it’s time to say please”.  Then sing: “thank you for saying please”, “you’re welcome”.

Have fun with singing, saying, and signing “please” and “thank you” and let Miss Bonnie know how it works for you. If you want more information on teaching your child thankfulness go here:  http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/spiritual_growth_for_kids/serving_as_a_family/practical_service.aspx

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