Dear Kid,

“Be sure to say ‘thank you.’”

Parents say this all the time. We remind our kids to say thank you, and they robotically spit out the words.

Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. Alfred Painter.“Thank you” ceases to be thankful and instead becomes part of the rehearsed rhetoric that makes life more pleasant. “Good morning.” “How are you today?” “Thank you.” Hollow fillers that are necessary but not meaningful.

It’s hard to feel thankful on command. It’s probably impossible to feel thankful on command.

On the other hand, it’s important to try.

In between the football and the sweet potatoes, it’s important to remember the things we are thankful for.

So how do we feel thankful on demand?

  1. Breathe. Take a moment. Thankfulness doesn’t rush. Thankful needs a calm space.
  2. Practice. We’ve got a week until Thanksgiving. Take a moment or two each day to think about things you’re thankful for. Like most things, being thankful gets easier with practice.
  3. Say the words. Sometimes we’re not ready to feel thankful. That’s ok—no one can mandate what you feel. But don’t use that as an excuse to stay silent. Saying thank you can be important for the people you’re talking to. And sometimes, just saying “thank you” can make you feel more thankful.

Love, Mom