Please & Thank You

By Misty Russell

In today's world there is not enough kindness and gratitude to go around. So how do you encourage an attitude of gratitude and a culture of kindness in your home? 

With our toddler we started the process by modeling it as much as possible. We, as the adults in the home, make sure we always say please and thank you to each other and to our kids. The next step is to rephrase her request. For example, when she would ask for milk we would rephrase it as "milk please." She soon started to pick up on the idea that we would not give her what she needed until she said please. And then after she received the said object, we always waited for a thank you.

Rehearsing this over and over will make it a natural part of a child's vocabulary . Before you know it your little one will be saying please and thank you and melting your heart with kindness.

The benefits of thankfulness are farther reaching than once believed. Not only does gratitude benefit the recipient but also the one giving the gratitude. The June 2012 issue of ParentLife magazine includes the following benefits of living a life of thankfulness:

- Stronger immune system
- Fewer aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure
- More desire to take care of your health

- Higher levels of positive emotions
- Greater alertness
- More joy and pleasure
- More optimism and happiness

- More helpful, generous, and compassionate attitude
- More forgiveness
- More desire to socialize
- Fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation