Teaching Your Children to be Grateful

It is quite easy for me to spoil my daughter. I certainly do not set out to spoil her, but when I see those beautiful brown eyes staring up at me, I have a hard time denying her. Of course I do because if I didn’t, I would not be doing my job as a parent. There are so many amazing gadgets and toys that are available it is natural for them to get a case of the “give me’s” and some of those toys are just so darn cute we may have a hard time not buying it for them. Whether you make that purchase or not the one thing we should be instilling in our children is to be grateful and thankful for what they do have.

God wants us to be grateful for everything in our life, because it is a gift from him. He doesn’t want us complaining and not being content with all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Shouldn’t we teach our children that being grateful and thankful is being gracious to our Lord? Children accumulate so much from parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends that they can easily loose sight of how much they have. If we aren’t careful they can develop an attitude of entitlement. This certainly is not a godly attitude and not one that we want to encourage.

Our current economic climate provides us with an opportunity to remember what really matters. Let’s not teach our children to only be grateful for material things which can be here today and gone tomorrow. Teach them to be grateful for Jesus their Savior, for their parents, family, friends, health, and for all those things that money can’t buy. It is never too early to teach our children to have a grateful heart. Actually, the earlier the better. Don’t wait until they are teenagers, start teaching them about being thankful when they are toddlers.

Ideas to help Teach Family and Children to be Grateful:

Start a Grateful Calendar- Give everyone in your family a small calendar to hang in their own personal space, or use one calendar for the whole family. Every day list something that you are grateful for. I started a grateful calendar in January. Even my three year old participates and reminds me when I forget to write something.

Give everyone a Blessings Journal– Journals are a great gift for birthdays or Christmas. In your Blessings Journal write down three things that you are grateful for everyday. You will have written 1095 things that you are thankful for by the end of the year. What a wonderful reminder of all that God has done for you!

Teach your Children to Give– At least twice a year have your family go through their belongings and give away things that they no longer use. Make sure your child realizes how privileged and blessed they are. Why not make a meal for an elderly neighbor, or adopt a family for the holidays? One of the best ways to show gratitude to God is to serve him through serving and giving to others.

Give thanks at the dinner table every night, not just Thanksgiving– Make sure that Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year that your family gives thanks. Each night or one night a week at the dinner table, ask each member of your family to say what they are thankful for that day. This is a great way to engage your family in conversation around the dinner table!

Teaching your child to have a grateful heart is one of the most important things you can do as a Christian parent. Gratefulness is a lesson that will give them peace and contentment in any circumstance they may find themselves in. We should encourage them to always strive for God’s best and their personal best. But, teach them that they are blessed with all of the gifts that God has graced them with.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7

Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved

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