3 Steps to Thanking Your Kids

We are told in Colossians 3:17 to be thankful all the time ("And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.") While this verse means we should commit all that we say and do to Jesus, while thanking him for the gifts of our life, it also speaks to being thankful in general.

As a professor of successful communication, I believe this also means we should have an attitude of gratitude at home.

Many parents appreciate their kids but don't often thank them.

You may be asking yourself why you should even bother to thank them. After all, many parents believe that a child's job is to do what they are told to do.

But there are several benefits to remembering to thank our kids:

  1. It teaches them the behavior we are looking for.

  2. It inspires them to continue that behavior (true for all kids, but even more so for those that are people pleasers).

  3. It acknowledges what they did.

  4. It acknowledges them as a person and a contributing member of the household.

Thanking our kids (or anyone, for that matter) doesn't have to be complicated, but it should also go beyond a trite "thank you."

Use this 3-step process to showing gratitude to your kids:

  1. Begin by acknowledging what they did - be specific

  2. Express gratitude.

  3. Explain why it was important to you.

While you're at it,

  • Be sincere.

  • Don't expect anything in reply.

People can spot insincerity a mile away, so make sure you are being true to yourself and your child.

Also, they may not know how to reply if you're just getting started, Don't force a "you're welcome" from them. Just thank them and be done,

They also may doubt your motives and worry that you're now going to ask them to do something else. That's okay. But be sure NOT to ask them to do anything in the same conversation as your gratitude.

Here's what it might look like, "Evin, I see that you did your brother's dishes in addition to your own today. Great job! I was going to have to do them myself since he's working today. I appreciate you helping me out - that was very mature of you!"

Need another example? How about something like, "Pamela, I really appreciate that you took care of your clothes in the bathroom. I know it seems like a little thing but I really like to keep the floors cleaned up. I appreciate you taking responsibility like that!"

For an added bonus, look your child in the eye when you say these things. :-)

Practicing gratitude does not have to be difficult.

Over time, your child will love hearing the praise and will go out of his/her way to do things you'll notice. You're not spoiling your child to acknowledge what they do as a contributing member of your family. You're treating them with respect. And that's a very good thing.

Thanks for reading! I would be honored if you share the post if it was helpful for you.

Be well,


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