With the holidays rapidly approaching, your children are bound to receive plenty of gifts from relatives and family friends. Some of these gifts will be things your children want, while others, like that sweater from Grandma, are probably less desirable. Still, you want to teach your child how to be thankful and show proper appreciation. Here’s how!
The best way to teach your child to say “thanks” and mean it is to set a good example with your own manners. Be sure your child hears you thanking the cashier at the supermarket or to the gentleman that held the door open for you on your way out of the store. Thank your spouse for washing the dishes too. Young children want to be like us so emulate the behavior you want them to exhibit.
Thank your child for helping
Don’t just command your child to pick up their toys. Once your request has been fulfilled, be sure to thank them for helping out. They’ll be more likely to repeat the good behavior as well as thank you and everyone else for doing things for them.
Teach the art of writing thank you notes
For bigger children that can write themselves, show them how to write notes for the gifts they receive. Children that are new to writing should sit with you while you compose handwritten messages for them. Make sure to read what you are writing out loud and have your child sign at the bottom.
Explain the importance of being gracious
Even young children can understand that if we tell Grandma we didn’t like her gift, it will make Grandma sad. So we must teach our children to be gracious when thanking as the giver was being gracious for giving.
Say “thanks” in person
If any of the gift givers live nearby, make sure you teach your child to say “thank you” in person. While this is no substitute for a handwritten thank you card, it goes hand in hand.
With all this positive behavior being demonstrated, your child will learn to say “thank you” without being nudged to do so. That’s the ultimate goal. Don’t let birthdays and holidays slip by without making sure your child exhibits proper grace and acknowledgement for the gifts they receive. By doing so, when your child is an adult, this skill will be ingrained and it will be very easy for them to show thanks, especially to you for teaching this lesson in proper etiquette.