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Can We Teach Gratitude?

“He got more than me.”

“Why did she get the last piece?”

“I don’t like this place, it is boring!”

Have you ever heard these beautiful statements from your kids?

Have you ever heard them after planning the perfect evening for them or doing something really special you thought they would love?

I know I have.

When it happens it makes you wonder if your kids will ever be grateful.

How do we teach our kids to be grateful in a culture of plenty?

Well I don’t have it all figured out, but I have done some things that have certainly helped with gratitude.

I work on my gratefulness throughout the day; mom and dad are the best role models.  If they see that you are not grateful they will have a hard time believing they should be.

We now keep gratitude journals.  This is a practical activity that reminds your kids to be grateful for all the blessings that come their way.  Remind them to not just be thankful for material things, but also for the special moments that arise, in God's creation,  and in answers to prayer.

Make them aware of the world we live in.  Sponsor a child through Compassion or World Vision (pray for them and write them letters).  Take them to nursing homes and to feed the homeless.  This is just another reminder that there are hurting people who have NOTHING or very little.  If they never hear or see this part of the world how will they know?

Have your children say three things they are thankful for from their day, at bedtime.  I saw this idea and other tips from this video.  We started this and it is WONDERFUL, your kids will start thinking about the things during the day they want to share with you at bedtime.  Also, Ann Voskamp has some great ideas and free journal printouts on her blog for gratitude for you and your children.

Remember that your children are children.  No matter what we do God has to do the work in their heart.  Pray about gratitude in them and yourself.   Don’t have such high expectations that you make your children feel like they have failed you.  Remember it has taken us many years to grow in Christ and gratitude.

The Bible reminds of us of this in 1 Corinthians 13:11: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

What are some things you have done to teach your children gratitude?


Angela's new blog is launching in early December called Mom With Heart, she has already started a facebook page where you can stay updated on the launching

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