Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us well – Voltaire
This is another one on one conversation with just me and you. We discuss the importance of helping grandchildren learn how to show appreciation in our discussion of how to show appreciation to their family, friends, and others. To me, Appreciation is a deeper form of giving thanks.
I suggest that being Thankful and expressing Thanks is undoubtedly a critical expression. We need to help moms and dads when they are teaching little ones basic manners and social interactions. The next level of expressing thanks is by showing or expressing gratitude. To me, being Grateful is a deeper level of being thankful. Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return Kindness.”
Appreciation is defined as “Recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.” I believe this is why we have traditionally seen public displays of appreciation for heroic acts in the public space. Think about medals, honors, monetary awards, etc. I think that grandparents can help grandchildren and others express more profound thanks through appreciation.
There are at least three ways that grandfathers can help grandchildren learn to express appreciation. The first is by modeling how to verbally show appreciation to someone by using the word “Appreciate” when thanking someone for service. The second way we can model showing appreciation is by having the grandchildren see us, or better yet, help us write out notes of appreciation. Both of these ways will help teach the grandchildren without lecturing. Remember, most young people learn best from seeing compared to being told.
The third way to help grandchildren learn to express appreciation is to be looking for opportunities to prompt them to express appreciation. Helping a young person express appreciation could be as simple as Coaching them to use “appreciate” instead of “thanks.” It could also be making sure that they are taking note when giving appreciation about what they are appreciative for. For example, you could prompt a young person to let a store manager know that they appreciate the manager making an exception to allowing them to use the store’s restroom even though the bathroom is not normally open to the public.
While helping to teach a young person to say thank you, it is just as important to teach them how to express gratitude and appreciation as deeper forms of thanks.