With the awards shows like the Grammys and the Oscars getting so much attention these days, it got me to thinking about my kids, and if they really understand how to thank someone properly. We’ve all suffered through the stars stumbling through their acceptance speeches, and I know I would be a bundle of nerves in that situation, but when it really comes down to it, the art of saying “Thank You” is something we should practice daily, so when our time to do this on the big stage comes along, we’re not so nervous (yeah, right!).
Most of us coach our kids to say “Please” and “Thank You” as young children, and with a little monitoring, they get pretty adept at this. As teenagers, sometimes this practice doesn’t always happen. I recall the first time I gave a car load of teenage boys a ride somewhere and they all piled out of the car in a rush, with a slammed door and no words of gratitude. Honestly, I was a little offended. So then I coached my kids to say “Thank you for the ride” any time they got a ride somewhere. It’s great how those words have a domino effect. Other kids start to echo the thanks, and after a while, it becomes a habit. Nice! We’ve also taught our kids to say “Thank You” each time someone brings or takes away something while dining out. I know waiters are supposed to surreptitiously serve you, but as a former waitress, I know I appreciated some “Thanks” every now and then.
While I’m on the topic, one more thing we emphasize with our kids is writing Thank You notes. Yes, I know I’m from Virginia and have a Mother who channeled Emily Post, but I firmly believe Thank You notes still need to be written. It doesn’t have to be on formal stationery, but when you take the time to write a note of thanks, it goes a long way. This applies to gifts, job interviews, and other random times when someone has done something nice for you. Katrina Kennison recently wrote about a friend nearing the end of her life who has chosen to express gratitude in notes of thanks. http://www.katrinakenison.com/2015/02/15/thank/ I can’t imagine how it must feel to receive one of those notes!
As a parent, try to practice the art of gratitude every day – since kids mirror the adults in their lives – it’s important to remember those words of thanks and use them often.
So now back to my speech…”I’d like to thank the Academy…”