In this day and age, the most likely expression of gratitude a child may demonstrate is a “like” on their Facebook page or a “favorite” on their Twitter account. What can you do to teach your kids and grandkids about gratitude? A lot! One of the easiest places to start is when an occasion is coming up that they’re likely to receive gifts at. Here are four easy tips to get them started.
- Before opening a gift, always look the giver in the eye and smile. This may seem like a very insignificant gesture, but in fact, it’s extremely important. Eye contact and appreciation before opening a gift shows that the receiver cares more about the giver as a person, no matter what the gift.
- Express thanks before opening a gift. As another pre-opening gesture, saying “Thank you” prior to unwrapping a gift box shows appreciation for the giver’s thoughtfulness, regardless of how large or small the gift may be. This is, in fact, a crucial lesson to teach kids.
- Genuinely express thanks again after opening a gift. This cannot be stressed enough. Even if your child is disappointed in the gift, they should refrain from making any negative facial expressions or comments. Instead, they should graciously thank the giver or tell them it was very thoughtful of them. (The concept of “It’s the thought that counts” will eventually be ingrained into them. Better sooner than later.)
- Write a thank you note. No matter the size or cost of the gift, whether it was liked or not, or whether it was given in person or sent by mail, a handwritten thank you note/card is an absolute must. No ifs, ands, or buts. In the note, be sure your child mentions the name of the gift and something they liked about it or will do with it. The more personal and sincere the note, the better. And the sooner, the better as well.