Creative Ways to Help Your Kids Express Gratitude
Sometimes kids need a little help to express gratitude for the important people in their lives. Here are some creative ways to help kids express their gratitude.
Make a Homemade Card
While cards from the local store can often be cute and funny, most people would rather receive a homemade card, especially from a young child. These cards can be a thank you note for any occasion, or they can simply be a quick hello. The important thing is to have your child write and decorate these cards entirely on their own so that the person receiving them knows the sentiment is genuine.
Draw or Paint a Picture
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and for those kids struggling to express their gratitude aloud, drawing or painting a picture is the perfect way to show that they care. Making pictures for the important people in their lives is a wonderful exercise for children as well as for the adults on the receiving end; the kids have a great time expressing their creativity, and the adults have something beautiful to hang on their fridges or walls.
Give Keepsakes that Will Last Forever
Sometimes simple cards and pictures are not enough to show that your kids truly care. Your children’s gratitude can be so great that the only appropriate way to express it is to give the gift of a keepsake that will last forever. Whether your child picks out a memento at a store or builds something like a bowl or a birdhouse (with parental supervision, of course), more permanent keepsakes can often help children show how grateful they are for the important people in their lives.
Use Your Words
While this may seem obvious, having children say, “thank you” or “I love you” to those in their lives can be the most powerful expression of gratitude. However, the simplest answers can often be the most difficult. Some children struggle to express these sentiments verbally without encouragement from their parents, which just makes the words sound empty and fake. Try to teach your child to say “thank you” on a regular basis; and if they’re too shy, have them stick to cards, pictures, or keepsakes until they grow out of it (and trust me, they will grow out of it; I did).
There are a million other ways for adults to teach children how to express gratitude for the people they love, but these are some excellent starting points that will help lay the foundation for your children’s futures. Sending thank you cards and purchasing keepsakes helps build good etiquette and behavior that will stay with children as they grow up. After all, expressing gratitude for those you love never grows old, even if children do.