The Lost Art of Appreciation

Why (and how) you should encourage your kids to embrace  the thank-you  note. And cultivate  an attitude of gratitude  along the way.

Writing thank-you notes has gotten a bad rap as a chore that’s , well, thankless.  (and the prospect of asking your kids to write them may leave you feelings as grateful as a shriveled houseplant.) But a note of thanks can do more than dutifully tell Uncle Max how much you like the word Yahtzee that he sent. Gratitude may be crucial to compassion, empathy, and even happiness, according to Jeffrey Froh, assistant professor of Psychology and the director of the Laboratory  for Gratitude  in Youth at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York. Why? Thanks for asking!

“Grateful kids tend to be much more satisfied with their lives, ” Says Froh. “They do better in schooland are less materialistic, less depressed, and less envious. their reltionships are much stronger and supportive .” In one study, grateful kids even reported fewer physical symptoms. like headaches, stomaches, and fevers.

Thank-you notes don’t have to be reserved for physical loot : Your kids can write them anytime!

Below are 13 different ways to say thanks :

  1. Let your child make a drawing of the gift
  2. Pose for a photo of him with the gift
  3. A younger child can use colored ink to place finger prints across a card
  4. Trace your childs hands and cut them out
  5. Make a list of top 10(or 5) reasons the gift was awesome
  6. Write out on chalk board or magnetic sheet  and photograph it
  7. An older kid can write letters down the page that the gift stands for
  8. Let her make up a brief story about the gift
  9. Write thank you in white crayon then have your child do water colors over it
  10. Cut up little pieces of art work and adhere to a card
  11. Cut out half hearts and write thank you on them
  12. Make hearts, stars, snowflakes, out of oragomi paper
  13. Record a video of your child saying or singing thanks!

Written by : Catherine Newman

 

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