Raising Thankful Children

Hello there,

It’s been a while! I had a very busy couple weeks getting ready to make our first road trip with a baby. It helped to have everything ready and organized. It was only a three hour drive from Ohio to Indiana but if you’ve ever been around a baby that doesn’t want to sit in a car seat before you’d be scared too! Luckily our little man slept pretty much the entire drive! That’s right! No fussing! It was a weekend full of family,friends, and spontaneous baby gifts!

Gift giving has always been a passion of mine. I have always put a lot of thought, care, and time into things that I give people. So while I try to give without expecting anything in return I do know how big of a bummer it can be to give someone a gift they don’t appreciate. The first gift I got my husband while we were dating was a one hundred dollar pair of shoes. I searched all over town for his special size (14) with the perfect color and fit. He was a marine at the time and seemed to constantly be walking or running around California. A couple months later when he came to visit me in Indiana, I noticed he did NOT have his new shoes on!! I casually asked him if he packed them. He told me that he lost them and they did not really fit anyways so he could not wear them. Ummm.. HELLO?! I searched the ends of the earth for these giant sized nike sneakers and that evidently did not even cross his mind! I could not believe someone could just toss out a pair of nike shoes like they were a juicy fruit wrapper! I wondered if he ever learned about the term EXCHANGE! I learned to appreciate my nike shoes because it was a miracle if I had any before having a job of my own! Can you imagine how angry? I was angry. I wondered how he was going to appreciate my gift giving if he didn’t even have my gift! I realized he probably didn’t appreciate it. He possibly got nikes for stocking stuffers as a child what do I know?! Fast forward to the future (now) and I have helped my husband a lot with gift giving. It was important for me to help him because us givers need to be given to occasionally! While I realized that not all gifts are personal my husband realized that giving with meaning will leave a longer lasting memory which is truly a gift in itself!

While I was pregnant I thought of everything I ever wanted to teach my kids. I thought about making a list of traditions,books,and songs to share. I thought about all things the future would hold! One thing that I continued to thing about was teaching them to be givers and also be thankful for gifts. I realize that my children might not find the same happiness that I find in giving and that’s totally fine. I just hope they remember to be thankful. How can I teach my kids to be thankful? Example. I remember being told to write all of my thank you notes after Christmas. It always felt forced and unfair because I never saw adults making thank you notes! Why did I have to be thankful because I am a kid and I should worship all ground that adults walk on? I always put thank you notes on the back burner and hoped my mom would forget she asked.

I wondered what it would be like to look forward to making thank you notes. How could I get my kid to enjoy it? I always enjoyed making art as a kid. I also enjoyed writing but something about the layout of a thank you note felt forced and easily predictable. Thank you for the socks…..they have been keeping my feet warm. Why not something a little more expressive and fun?! Why not something with a little thinking outside the box! Here is our attempt at fun thank you notes!

The notes are in response to first Halloween gifts for Saylor so they are a Halloween theme! I used non toxic washable paint for the footprints and then did the rest on my own. I realize that not all parents are going to have the time to get as crafty but lucky for me it’s always been something I love to do! You can obviously make your version as simple as you prefer. It’s an easy thank you with a little bit of effort from Saylor himself. It’s important to start right away and be CONSISTENT on any habits you want your kids to have. I want my kids to have the habit of making an effort to be thankful.





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