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Jackie Michel

Jackie Michel, M.S.
185 Brookside Lane
Fayetteville, NY 13066
Phone: 315.859.1470


Green Gratitude

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Have you thought about how important it is for kids to send a thank you note to friends and family who have given them gifts and have come to their birthday party?

I generally thought of thank you notes as a gesture of politeness and good manners. I thought of it as the right thing to do and parents should insist on it.

I started to talk to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends about their ideas about gratitude and saying thank you. More than one person said in resignation, “Saying thank you is a lost art. We never receive thank you notes any more.” Still others said, “I just stopped sending gifts.” And my son shared about taking his kids to birthday parties where the birthday child tears open one present after another –I’m sure you can picture it -- paper all over the place, kids running around, and little attention to any of the stuff or little appreciation for the gifts.

I discovered in the book “What Kids Really Want that Money Can’t Buy,” by Betsy Taylor that research shows kids themselves actually do want many things that money can’t buy. They want more time with loved ones; they want to connect with nature; they want peace and a kinder, more just world.

However, children need help in achieving those longings. In regards to gratitude, they need help in understanding that someone has thought about them, cares about them and has gone out of their way to do something special for them. Starting practices such as writing thank you notes and saying thank you is the beginning of building long term bonds with others, and a happier, healthier more successful life.

Our Green Gratitude Kits™ are designed to make it easier and more fun to say thanks! This is a project you can start with your kids or grandkids today.

Jackie Michel

Tips on Raising a Grateful Child

Thursday, 19 January 2012
  1. Gratitude begins with awareness and practice. It’s more than good manners.
  2. Remind kids to say thank you. Set the expectation and plan the time to create their thank you notes. Give them suggestions, ask what they like about a gift, or how they will use and enjoy it, but don’t write the notes for them.
  3. Talk about gratitude and help them understand when they are the beneficiary of someone’s kindness and generosity
  4. Teach them to be thankful for even little things and non material things such as health, nature and togetherness.
  5. Cultivate a sense of wonder and delight. Share the beauty and complexity of the world around you from the tiniest bug to a glorious sunset.
  6. At bedtime each day, ask you children to tell you one thing they feel pleased about with themselves, one thing someone else did that they are thankful for, and something that happened that day that they are happy about.
  7. Express your gratitude for what the child does: for their hard work at school, their thoughtfulness, their helpfulness.

 The "Green Gratitude Kit for Kids" (TM) is available for purchase at  
   . online at the Gratitude Leads shop

Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica


For more information, CALL 315-859-1470