Explain Holiday Thankfulness
Kids should understand and practice thankfulness for what they receive even at a young age. Once all the holiday festivities are over, parents can take the kids aside to ask them if they have enjoyed their gifts and why each gift was special. Parents should also help the kids to understand that those gifts came from the heart and that it is something to be appreciated. The last thing that should be explained is that hearing that someone is thankful for a gift that was given can make friends or family feel very special.
Send Out Thankfulness
Parents can help their kids send out thankfulness in a lot of different ways. One option is Thank You cards that the kids can make by hand for grandparents, friends or other family members. Another option is to go to the store and let them pick out a card to sign. If they cannot write on their own yet, parents can have them say what they want to say while watching a parent write it down. Another great way to send out thankfulness is by saying it over a phone call. It can especially mean a lot to grandparents to hear a thank you over the phone rather than through the mail.
Children should be taught to acknowledge what they are given as soon as it is received. Parents can teach their children this by having them say "thank you" as soon as they receive any kind of gift, compliment or help. If that habit is instilled in them at a young age, it will become automatic as they get older. For example, if a child receives a brand new hook-and-loop toddler belt, before they are allowed to put it on, have them give s great big "thank you!" to whoever gave it to them.
Thankful for Disappointment
Sometimes kids get gifts they do not like, it happens to everyone. Parents should strive to help children understand that, even if they do not like something, it is important to show thanks for the thought. It can be hard to help younger children understand why they should say thank you for something they do not like but parents can explain to their kids that individuals never try to buy something that their friend or family member will not like and, because of that, they should always show thankfulness. Kids should also understand that simply saying they do not like a gift could hurt someone's feelings. A better approach could be saying thank you for the thought but it just might not be the right thing for them, or to simply just say thank you and leave it at that.
The words "thank you" will be one of the most important lessons a child will ever have so start teaching them right now!