Parenting Lessons: Giving Thanks

November 26, 2013 Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

Giving thanks is something many do around Thanksgiving. We parents try to teach our children that saying thank you shows kindness to others (not to mention good parenting). But, what about saying 'thank you' to your child?

Giving Thanks was Not in my Vocabulary

As a child, I couldn't even imagine my parents thanking me for anything. My parents were more about kids not speaking unless spoken to and anything my parents told me needed to happen asap. No thank you. No rewards. Nada. A thank you from them would have been like pigs flying.

One thing I've learned from being a parent (and more so parenting a child with mental illness) is that thanking a child is okay and needed. How can I expect Bob to have good manners if I don't show him that I have some?

Learning a new Lesson

Probably the hardest thing I've had to do is thanking Bob when he does something for me. Not following my parents' footsteps and giving orders is a big challenge because I'm doing something new and different. I'm teaching myself how to appreciate Bob more and let him know it.

Being Thankful Helps My Child

How does this help Bob? It'll let him know that I'm grateful for the things he does. Whether it is doing well in school or getting his chores done right away, the 'thank you' counts. I know that when someone thanks me, I feel special and valued. Kids are no different. Bob needs to hear that I'm grateful for the things that he does everyday. Not only does he feel valued, but he's also motivated to do more.

[caption id="attachment_2343" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Giving Thanks Helps"][/caption]

If I spend too much time being angry about what is missing with Bob, I lose the chance to see how amazing he really is. He's sweet; he's funny and he's smart. I'd miss all of that if I focused on the things he does wrong. It's no good all around. Saying thank you boosts his self-esteem and makes me a better mom.

Thank your child for the wonderful things he or she does and great things can happen. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

APA Reference
Zalamar, H. (2013, November 26). Parenting Lessons: Giving Thanks, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 29 from

Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

November, 26 2013 at 4:51 am

Well said. Words can be so powerful. We forget that a few kind words of appreciation and love can do more than anyone can imagine.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 2 2013 at 4:22 pm

Hi Kelly,
I agree. It is because of someone else's kind words that I became a counselor. They make such a huge difference. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Please visit again soon!

Parenting Lessons: Giving Thanks | iLoveMyBrain
November, 26 2013 at 2:52 am

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