As of late, my husband and I have been working on being more directive teaching our kids social skills. I have to get over my hang up around thinking they should know all this stuff already. But just like reading, writing and arithmetic, it takes teaching and practice to be a kind and polite person. After a recent remote school day, I have become acutely aware that I am not qualified to teach anything more than 'please' and 'thank you'.
For example, when I ask my son about his day at school and he grunts at me, I am practicing saying, "Ben, I am asking you about your day not because I want to quiz you but because I want to show you that I am interested in your life and I am trying to connect with you." That is usually followed by a slightly duller grunt. Baby steps.
When I came across this post from Adam Grant, the last line struck me.
"We shouldn't just ask kids what they accomplished. We should also ask who they helped--and who helped them."
It is such a good reminder that it is hard to go wrong with being kind, showing gratitude for someone, and modeling it for the next generation.
I happen to think that recording your gratitude for someone, in your own voice, and doing it within the context of a story is kind of fun for you too. You can go ahead and grunt at me if you'd like but don't be surprised when I tell you to 'use your words'.
Please and thank you,