Teaching your child gratitude with one step

Our kiddos with ADHD can have an entitlement problem. They take the things in their life for granted and miss the importance of taking a moment to be grateful. So much so that hearing them utter a sincere thank you can practically knock us on our ass, yes?

You and I both know that lecturing them about what they need to be doing either leads to push back or they do what they have to to shut us up.

The strategies that tend to work best are concrete and yet subtle.

A strategy that has worked well with my kiddos is inspired by something my mother used to do. When my sibs or I would forget to say, “thank you.” My mother would put her hands on her hips and say in a sarcastic tone, “You’re welcome by the way.”

Her tone would snap us to attention and we’d say “thank you.” The problem with that approach (at least for me), is that her tone and manner instilled fear or guilt in me. So when I would give her a “thank you” I may as well have said, “I’m sorry.”

We want our kiddos to say “thank you” from a place of gratitude, not guilt.

Therefore, it’s important to prompt them by using the same language, “You’re welcome.” But make sure your tone is loving and your face is smiling.

You are planting seeds of gratitude in your kiddo’s mind as you model your own gratitude for being able to do for her. Do this consistently and in no time the grateful “thank yous” will appear.

Thanks for being you

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