University of Michigan researchers discovered 4 out of 5 parents say their kids are not thankful for what they have.

I have an 8-year-old son and over the Thanksgiving weekend, I asked him what are you thankful for? After he got past saying the different kinds of farts he's thankful for, I asked him to be serious, he hesitated then went through a list of family members, his dog, and the things he and I do together. My son is smart for being only 8 and I think some of that was him saying what he thought I wanted to hear, but some of it did really did sound sincere.

According to WOOD, a new poll taken by the University of Michigan finds that most parents think their kids have some catching up to do in the thankfulness department, with some going as far to say they are sometimes embarrassed by how selfish their child acts.

I try to teach my son to say thank you when someone gives him something, but still, I find myself having to remind him when the opportunity presents itself with him going more through the motions than showing any kind of sincerity.

While teaching your child to say thank you, researchers say it is important for the child to explain why are giving thanks. Even as parents we need to explain to the child why they are being asked to say thank you.

Another teaching opportunity is after a birthday party, sit down with your child and have them write thank you cards to gift-givers. I know it takes a little time, but a great opportunity for you and your child to do something meaningful together.

I did chores when I was a kid. Some I didn't like and some that didn't bother me but my parents thought it was important that I helped the family. I often have my son help me with projects around the house. He is still young but I noticed the encouragement I give him while doing the chores gives him a sense of accomplishment as well as knowing he helped the family.

U of M researchers also mentioned it is important to explain to your children that everyone in the family has an obligation to help each other.

Over the holiday weekend, my son and nephew were helping my mom make biscuits for the family breakfast. At first, both boys were hesitant and quickly distracted with remote control cars being within arms reach of each other. They had quickly found their way out of the kitchen and into the living room where I had to explain that grandma needs your help in making biscuits for the family, plus you will get to make some the size you will want to eat. They quickly went back to help their grandmother. The boys had a sense of gratitude knowing they helped make the family breakfast but soon were more concerned about how much jelly they could get on their biscuits.

My mom is pretty good about getting her grandchildren involved in little projects. Much better than my sister and I can that is for sure.

I think we can all do a better job and try to teach our children to be thankful. Let's make sure they learn to appreciate their role in the greater good of being a part of the family and our community.

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