Raising a Grateful Child | Part 2

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 2

Nov 25

Raising a Child with a Grateful Heart By Example

We said yesterday that gratitude is either caught or taught.  The first way that we can train our kids to have a grateful heart is by example.  Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Is this a verse we can use to define our lives?  Gratitude for what we have be given defines a life of contentment.  When our children observe us in our daily life do they see this about us, or do they see someone who is always striving to have the next thing? It is very easy in this culture to feel the need to one up the people around us with the things we have.

One way to live a life of contentment with what God has provided for us is to serve those around us.  If we are serving wherever there is a need then it allows us to be others focused.  Look for places to serve others.  Make it a family event to give back to those around you.  Giving your children the opportunity to serve and to watch you serve is an invaluable lesson.   Look for that opportunity this holiday week!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on training a grateful heart.

 
Raising a Grateful Child | Part 1

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 1

Nov 24

Getting Ready for a Successful Thanksgiving

Gratitude is not something that is an innate human trait.  Because we are all born selfish, it is something that is both caught and taught.  As God designed it, babies spend all of their time having their needs met.  As children get older they are taught to be more and more self-sufficient.  If we are not spending time training our children to have a grateful heart however, they will keep that selfish attitude.

Thanksgiving gives us a wonderful opportunity for training.  We can utilize the theme of this holiday to start our holiday season off with an attitude of gratitude.  One way to do that is by creating an “I’m thankful for list”.  Starting today put a poster board up in a central location of your house.  It can be a plain poster board or you can enlist the help of your children to decorate it.   Parents can take the initiative and begin every day by writing at least one thing on the list that they are thankful for. Make a game of seeing who can come up with the most things.  Keeping the things that we are thankful for in the forefront of our minds will begin to train us, and our children, to have grateful hearts.

For more ideas on teaching gratitude through fun activities check out,

http://glittermagic.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/10-ways-to-celebrate-gratitude-in-your-happy-home/

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on training a grateful heart.

 
Teaching Your Child to Serve | Part 5

Teaching Your Child to Serve | Part 5

Nov 21

Encouragement

The final “E” in the training process is encouragement.  Think about your parenting style.  Are you an encourager?  What do you encourage for?  Many of us encourage our children when they do great in sports or when they do well in school but have a hard time encouraging the small successes every day.  Teaching our children to have an attitude of serving others is something we must reinforce through encouragement.  One idea, which we have discussed before, is starting a family board in the kitchen.  On this board you can write up when one of your children does something to serve another person.  Even something small should be written up.  If it is a white board you can make a weekly game to see who has the most acts of service by the end of the week and reward that child.

In order for us to be able to encourage our children we have to be very aware of their actions in order to catch them “doing right”.  It is so easy to get caught up and either not pay attention when those good moments happen or be too focused on the difficult behaviors and miss praising the good.

However you choose to encourage your children make sure that you do it.  It is a big part of reinforcing the behavior and positive reinforcement is most often what make the good behaviors a habit!!

 

Listen to today’s podcast fore more insight on this topic.

 
Teaching Your Child to Serve | Part 4

Teaching Your Child to Serve | Part 4

Nov 20

Experience

After taking the time to expose our children to different opportunities in serving others, it is also important to give them time to experience this on their own.  Especially as a child gets older it is important to look for these experiences for them to practice on their own and to reap the rewards of doing something for someone else.  It is a different experience from “having” to do something because the rest of your family is involved.

One place to look for opportunities for your child is their school.  When they are telling you about their day they may mention a perfect opportunity for serving someone. There may be something that a child can do to help a teacher.  Even doing something so small as not getting involved when a group of people are picking on a student or making the big step to tell them to stop.  Or simply making a point to be nice to the student, even though it may be unpopular, is putting their needs above you own.

As a child gets older another awesome way to give them a wonderful experience in serving others on their own is mission trips.  Most churches give opportunities for youth to do a mission trip at least once a year.  These life-changing experiences are such awesome lessons not only in serving others, but also teach gratitude for how much we have been given.

Take the time to help your child find places to serve on their own.  It will help to develop this important life long habit.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 

 

Teaching Your Child to Serve | Part 3

Teaching Your Child to Serve | Part 3

Nov 19

Exposure

Another “E” in the training Process is exposure.  We as parents must set the example first in our service of others but secondly we must look for opportunities for our children to serve.  We spoke yesterday that this begins in our own home with serving our family members but we after this area we can look for bigger areas of ministry.  Check with your church to see if there are any families in need of meals.  In any church at any time there may be many families who could use this service due to illness or a new baby.  Make it a family service project and get your kids involved in every area from shopping for the food to preparing it.

Another area of service could be checking with your church to see if there are any elderly who need help around their house with basic projects that they can’t do anymore.  Make a family service day even one day a month, especially during time off, is a great way to teach kids.

There are always local ministries who need help as well in various ways.  For Sheridan House, we can always use volunteers to help with any of our events.  Looking for ways to expose your children to service in this capacity is a great way to train.  Make a day of it, often, and serve together as a family.  Service should be part of a families DNA.  To those of us who have been given so much through the God’s grace, service should be our way of showing our gratitude for what He has done for us.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 
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