Why it's important Giving thanks isn't just about good manners. It's a state of mind that lets kids feel content with the things they have -- and don't have. "A child with a grateful heart doesn't take people's kindness for granted," says Miller. "She appreciates what others do for her."
Bring it to life Talk about people who deserve your child's gratitude, such as a teacher or a friend who gave a gift. Then write thank-you cards together. Also point out everyday things your child can be grateful for (such as a warm, comfy bed at night or a surprise visit from her cousin).
Read and learn The Secret of Saying Thanks, by Douglas Wood. In this beautifully illustrated book, a young girl learns to be thankful for the simple treasures of nature, such as a sunrise and the shade of a sheltering tree.