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 choice. It is something that we are brought up with…reminded of whenever the opportunity arises.
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.
Children need to be grateful. They need to be brought up grateful so that it becomes who they are…not what they should do.
How do you teach gratefulness? You teach gratefulness by being thankful. Thankful for someone helping you, serving you, or giving you a gift even if it is not what you asked on your list.
Teens need to be thankful for birthday gifts from family members or distant relatives. Thank you cards or just a phone call will do. Reminding them is important because then someday they will do it on their own.
I bought my 17-year-old 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. Why did he thank 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, when he gets birthday gifts or small gratitude gifts he genuinely thanks 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. Now, I still get a glazed look when I interject wisdom or a lecture but that doesn’t stop me from reminding him of his manners. But one thing on the manners list is not saying “thank you”. He’s got that one now.
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