We had her princess tea party yesterday (it was awesome, pics to come). After all the festivities and after guests had left, she wanted to dive into the opened presents. I told her no. Not because I am a mean mom. Usually. But because we had to remember to write thank you notes.
Now let me preface this by saying I stink at writing them myself. I am not a perfect parent with a perfectly behaved child. Far from it. I still have a stack of people to thank for baby gifts and meals the first six weeks home. And forget about the birth announcements that are collecting dust in my guest room. But in an effort to teach the Kid to ALWAYS be grateful for what she is given, we sat down and went through every gift and wrote a note. Writing thank you notes wasn't something that I grew up doing, but darn it, you will be thankful if it kills you. She has a far more privileged existence than I did. She won't know what it's like to get free breakfast at school or go to a Medicaid clinic for check ups. But I am trying my hardest to keep her from feeling entitled.
I was taught to be polite and to say "please" and "thank you". My mother would have disowned me for rudeness to an adult. Seriously, she probably still would. "Please" and "thank you" are two phrases that will get an emergency room nurse in the middle of the night in residency to be your lifesaver. Catching more flies with honey and all that...
In the midst of blessing or grief or just mundane day to day activities, I am still learning to show gratitude. And hopefully teaching a little as well.
How do you practice or teach thankfulness in your life? Chime in!