But a family of magpies also lives nearby and they, too, drop in occasionally. Magpies frighten many people. They do look quite fierce and they certainly snap up any snack offered to them. But there is something endearing about magpies that set them apart from kookaburras. They stay and say, 'thanks'.
'......Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.'
How do you teach such joyful gratitude to children?
1. Thank others yourself. Children might not listen or obey but... they excel at copying behaviour.
As a toddler, my granddaughter developed a troubling cough. Her parents were very concerned until they realised that her cough was a duplicate of her mother's morning sinus cough. She copied her mother.
If you want children to be thankful, you must show thankfulness yourself. At home, and in your kidmin program, thank children for their help and involvement.
Make a point of thanking volunteers. Watch for opportunities to do so. Don't wait until the end of the term or the year. Involve the kids, too. For example, We have someone with us today who always stays behind to wipe down our tables. Do you know who does that for us? Let's bring him/her up the front and say thank you.
Consciously, watch for older kids, too, who say 'thank you' and comment approvingly of this behaviour.
3. Regularly encourage kids to look for those who serve others, and to thank them. It's wonderful to set aside a special day of thankfulness and thanksgiving. It's really helpful to present a lesson on gratitude and thanksgiving. But don't leave it until those occasions to encourage kids to regularly look for others who, quietly and without fuss, are helping us.
The children need to find each person and have them sign their name on their sheet. They must also thank them and give them a 'Thank You' card. You'll find these cards on the second sheet of the printable. You might like to award a prize to any child who can find all those listed on the sheet and complete the entire activity.