How to Encourage Thankfulness in Kids

We recently got this note from a fan, and thought we'd share it with you:

As a mommy to three little ones, ages 7, 5, and 3, I am often struck by how much "stuff" my kids have. From toys to books to video games, we seem to have one of everything! We don't give them spending money unless they earn it through chores. My 7-year old has been hired and fired from feeding our cats more times than I can count. Let's just say that he's not a morning-person. The 5-year old was promoted to the position as a replacement and lasted about 2 weeks. She seemed to be a perfect fit for the job because of her attention to detail and love for the cats. Unfortunately, she is a worse morning-person than the 7-year-old.

Despite the lack of chore money, our house is overflowing. If they didn't get it as a hand-me-down, then someone got it for them on their birthday or Christmas.

My husband and I have discussed how to encourage thankfulness with the children many times. When kids these days have so much, how do you get them to appreciate it? We've boiled it down to something simple: say "thank you"... for everything. We are the "thank you" police. We remind them constantly, for things from milk refills to birthday presents, and lollipops at the bank to strangers holding doors open for us. And believe me, they definitely aren't perfect. But what really touches me is when the 3-year old thanks me almost every day for washing his blankie. Or my daughter thanks me for changing her bed. Or my 7-year old thanks me for simply washing his favorite pants. We never thought to even ask for thank-yous for laundry. It's just something we do as parents. But I guess the "thank you" police won some ground somewhere in each little mind, and for some reason, in my house, all the hard work shows itself in the most unlikely place...the laundry basket.

-Thank goodness for thankfulness.

-Amy Adele

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