Honest Simplicity

my winding road to a simpler life

Tag: kids

Manners: Saying “Thank You”

The kids received birthday gifts in the mail today from their grandparents.  I let them open the package, though their birthdays are still a few days away.  They were excited to see what was inside.  My daughter didn’t waste time in trying on her new outfit and my son quickly flew his new Spider-Man glider around the house.  I decided it was the perfect opportunity for a lesson in manners.  I pulled out A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy & Kindness for Young Ladies by Emilie Barnes (I also own the version for boys).  The book has a lovely section teaching children all about saying and writing “thank you”.  The author explains when to write a thank-you note, why it is of value, what to include in your note, and so on.  After reading the lesson, we drove to the store so that they could each pick out their very own box of thank you notes.  I told them that these were very special cards for the sole purpose of showing someone your appreciation.  Once home, they eagerly wrote their notes, added drawings, and happily put the stamps on their envelopes.  To be honest, I am not the best example when it comes to promptly sending off thank you notes.  I verbally say “thank you” quite a bit, but that doesn’t always cut it.  I’d love to make a habit of writing notes of appreciation and I suppose it will begin by doing it alongside my kids.

Studio Time

Today, my kids and I spent most of our time in and around the studio (which is directly behind our house).  I was planning on having time to work on some new paintings (alone), though the kids had a different idea.  They eagerly wanted to paint, too.  Honestly, I wanted to say “sorry, I’m busy right now”, but I ended up spending the morning giving them painting lessons before beginning my own work.  This was my son’s first time at the easel and he was rearing to go.  It was a joy to see his focus and to watch my daughter’s creativity unfold.  Sometimes our kids can get in the way of our plans, but we should remember that teaching them new skills and spending time with them is far more worthwhile.  We are creating memories when we stop to paint with them, let them help cook dinner, take the time to read them a book, and so forth.  I’m not saying it is always easy, but you’ll never regret the time you invest in your children.  Reminder to self: say “yes” more than “no” when my kids need my focused attention.


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