We are told in Scripture) to “give thanks in all circumstances…” (I Thessalonians 5:18) Parents start teaching their young children thankfulness when they teach them to say “Thank you” when they get something. What are other ways you can teach your children to be grateful?
Have them write thank you notes when they receive something special, or someone does something nice for them. Work with them to thank God for at least three things before they make any requests when they pray. Kids can show their thankfulness to someone (like Grandma) by doing something nice for them.
Have you ever given thanks for the circumstances in your life that are not positive as well as the good? The verse above says to give thanks in ALL circumstances. Have you taught your children to? When they are negative about something, have them share one positive they can be thankful for.
Most of you know that we were in a horrific car accident some years ago. As a result of my injuries, I have been left in debilitating pain (RSD). When I am struggling to keep my focus on the positive, I write three things down in a notebook that I am thankful for. Then I read all the things I have already written down. I start a new list every few months. Nothing turns my attitude around quicker than remembering how to be grateful.
In the month of November while our children were growing up, I would draw a tree (with no leaves) on a large poster board. I would cut out leaves in fall colors and each night at dinner everyone got a leaf. Joey would give a topic and everyone had to write one thing they were thankful for in that area on their leaf. All family members attached their leaf to the tree when they had finished writing. On Thanksgiving Day, everyone got to read the leaves they had written on. It was a wonderful way to get the focus off of selfishness and on to realizing how much we had to be grateful for.
In today’s culture, thankfulness has gone out the window with other courtesies. Brainstorm as a family to think of ways to show gratefulness to people. Showing thankful hearts on a regular basis leads to contentment and happiness, a blessing in itself.
by Joey Link