Don’t you wish you heard the words “thank you” more often in your home—even for the small stuff? Here’s a simple, easy activity to make saying thank you fun for your kids…and a habit for everyone.
Don’t you wish you heard the words “thank you” more often in your home—even for the small stuff? They’re just two little words, but they can have a powerful effect on your family’s mood, attitude, and habits of courtesy and respect.
Thank You Cards to Encourage Saying Thank You
Often, the way to encourage a habit is with a short burst of intentional practice. Here’s one way to encourage the habit of saying thank you:
- Purchase an inexpensive set of thank you notes (check your local dollar store) and set them out on your family prayer table or on the dinner table.
- When someone sees a family member doing something that deserves thanks, they can write that person a note and leave it at his or her place at the table (or on his or her bed).
- When you kick off your “thank you campaign,” do a practice run together so you can model some examples.
- At the end of the week, collect all of the thank you notes and do a little debriefing. Who did the best job of recognizing thank you moments? What did it feel like to be thanked? How did saying thank you change the mood of the family?
- Post the notes on a door or another prominent place for another week as a reminder to continue the practice.
A Thankfulness Prayer
The ability to give thanks flows from an “attitude of gratitude,” which is itself closely related to our sense of God’s goodness. The Bible is full of songs of thanksgiving; you can use some of these in your own family prayer. The following prayer service is taken from The Catholic Family Book of Prayers, page 35.
Before praying this prayer, recollect the day as a family. Then invite each family member to respond to the invitation to give thanks, as each is moved.
LEADER: For what should we thank God today?
After each statement of gratitude, all respond with one of the following verses:
I will give thanks to the Lord
with my whole heart;
I will tell of all
your wonderful deeds.
Sing praises to the Lord,
O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
O give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
1 Corinthians 15:57
Thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (Thessalonians 5:16–18)