Do you get the eye roll or glazed stare when talking to your teen about being grateful? I do. Although, now I notice it a lot quicker than I used to notice. Gratefulness is a habit. It is something that we are brought up with…reminded of whenever the opportunity arises. Gratefulness can be our everyday choice.
Gratefulness is a “thank you” whenever anyone gives you something. It is an appreciation in your heart over the smallest, but thoughtful reminder that someone else has thought of you.
Ways to Show Thankfulness
Teens daily should be trained before they become teens. Training actually starts at a young age. Gentle reminders help. My oldest is now 21, and he still needs to be reminded to be thankful. Thankful teens attract respect. Teens brought up thankful so that it becomes who they are…not what they should do. Thankfulness is important. Just the other day I was in the store shopping. I am surrounded by Christmas and materialism. Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? Giving thanks for the many before us who have sacrificed to get us here.In a society that pushes the dollar over character shows thankfulness can be pushed aside.
Sending a card thanking someone for just being a good friend can bring smiles.
People in general like to be around respectful people. We gravitate toward thankful, not spoiled personalities. Who doesn’t like a “thank you” not when a gift has been sent?
How do you teach thankfulness ? You teach thankfulness by role modeling. Thankful for someone helping you, serving you, or giving you a gift even if it is not what you asked on your list. Not complaining or showing that we may not appreciate something.
Having teens and kids sit down and send out cards for being invited to something, or taking a day to visit someone and thank them. Each year our family holds a gratitude day. Driving place to place to visit people in our church that we are thankful and better for knowing them.
Thankful teens show to be thankful for birthday gifts from family members or distant relatives. Notes, video’s or text messages are active ways to tell someone thank you. Next, would be sending a card with a short note, or a letter.
I bought my son an ice cream cone from McDonald’s the other day after piano. After he had taken a few bites he looked at me and said “thanks mom for the ice cream”. It was a .79 ice cream but it warmed my heart that he thanked me. Because all the time I tell him “when someone buys you something, what do you say”? Every time the opportunity came around I had him say thank you.
Now, at 21 he doesn’t have to be told but always extends a “thank you” too other’s.
Reminders to be a Thankful Teen
Now, when teens gets birthday gifts or small gratitude gifts, gently remind them to be genuinely thankful to the people for them. He is blessed by their thoughtfulness, and they in turn give him more. I have strangers tell me that they are impressed by his manners.
A simple thank you will go a long way. My parents always told me to show I am thankful because it is more that the person thought to buy us a gift. If I received something not so favorable, a gentle reminder was sent my way that they did not have to think of me at all.
Many times it is the thought so much more than the gift. Training them to be thankful especially in their teen years brings out this importance. Then, by the time they are an adult you will receive many compliments on your very polite children.
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