The other night we were grabbing a slice at our local pizza place when we noticed a family of four with two young children finish their meal. The parents then said, "Say thank you," and the little kids poked their heads behind the pizza counter and called out, "Thank you!" to the smiling pizza guys before the family walked out.
"Our kids are gonna do that," we immediately said. Basic manners and especially gratitude are things that we value and want to pass on to our children. One way we do that is with a "gratitude basket" filled with blank torn of pieces of paper and a pen so family members can easily jot down something they're grateful for and throw in the basket. Then every year on January 1st, we go through the basket and take turns reading them.
Cookie has an interview with Betsy Brown Braun, author of "Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents." She answers questions like "Can we really expect a small child to feel grateful?" and "How can we cultivate and 'attitude of gratitude'?" Read the interview here.