thankfulness

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 3

2018-11-15T09:28:43+00:00

Using Thanksgiving to Prepare for Christmas

We talked yesterday about cultivating a grateful heart by focusing on serving those around us.  A great Thanksgiving table discussion, even with extended family, is beginning to plan your family Christmas service project.  What a great way to show your thanks to God for all He has given your family.

One idea is, with your children you can pick a family to bless this holiday season.  There are many ways to do this.  You could take little things to the family like homemade cookies and card through the season. Have your children put some of their allowance towards picking out a gift for the children of the family. Or if there is something that the family specifically needs you can all pool your money towards that.

Another idea that was done by a family was to wake up and spend part of Christmas day at a local homeless shelter serving. There are also many in nursing facilities that don’t have visitors and would love cookies and smiles from children.  There are countless ideas for serving those around you this holiday season.  Spend part of the Thanksgiving holiday planning for your family’s Christmas service project.

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 3 2018-11-15T09:28:43+00:00

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 2

2018-11-15T09:28:22+00:00

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!

 

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 2 2018-11-15T09:28:22+00:00

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 1

2018-11-15T09:27:36+00:00

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/

 

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 1 2018-11-15T09:27:36+00:00

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 3

2014-11-24T11:23:01+00:00

Using Thanksgiving to Prepare for Christmas

We talked yesterday about cultivating a grateful heart by focusing on serving those around us.  A great Thanksgiving table discussion, even with extended family, is beginning to plan your family Christmas service project.  What a great way to show your thanks to God for all He has given your family.

One idea is, with your children you can pick a family to bless this holiday season.  There are many ways to do this.  You could take little things to the family like homemade cookies and card through the season. Have your children put some of their allowance towards picking out a gift for the children of the family. Or if there is something that the family specifically needs you can all pool your money towards that.

Another idea that was done by a family was to wake up and spend part of Christmas day at a local homeless shelter serving. There are also many in nursing facilities that don’t have visitors and would love cookies and smiles from children.  There are countless ideas for serving those around you this holiday season.  Spend part of the Thanksgiving holiday planning for your family’s Christmas service project.

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

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 3 2014-11-24T11:23:01+00:00

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 2

2014-11-24T11:18:49+00:00

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 2 2014-11-24T11:18:49+00:00

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 1

2014-11-24T11:14:34+00:00

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.

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 1 2014-11-24T11:14:34+00:00

Passing On the Great Thanksgiving Gift

2010-11-30T18:07:25+00:00

What if we’ve completely missed God’s intended purpose of Thanksgiving? What if this is the year we should “do it right” but missed it?

There are great mandates to celebrate by remembering what God has done for us and yet so often we celebrate the “celebration” and forget the intended purpose.  The Lord’s Supper is a perfect example.  So often you can take part in the Lord’s Supper at church and totally forget to do the work of doing it “in remembrance of Him.”

Thanksgiving is another example.  The first Thanksgiving celebration was a time of thanking God.  It was a great time to refocus.  The pilgrims spent a year of incredible loss and starvation and yet they gathered together to focus on what they had, rather than what they had lost.  They refocused.

This had to be a great lesson for the children because many had lost one of their parents during that first harsh winter to sickness.  Yet, the remaining adults decided, certain under God’s direction, to look instead at was God was doing for them.

In this economy, with job uncertainly, it would be naïve to think the children around you aren’t worried about what the future holds.  Certainly God is directing us to use this Thanksgiving to get back to its intended purpose; the giving of thanks to God.

As parents, it should not escape our notice that Thanksgiving appears on our calendar providentially before Christmas. What if we used the Thanksgiving meal as a time to discuss what we’re going to do as a family to give thanks at Christmas?  What if we focused less on making lists of what we want and more effort on making a list of want to do’s for others… in the name of Christ… as His birthday gift from us?

Let’s use this Thanksgiving to refocus our family.  Let’s use this Thanksgiving as a time to remember the blessings we have been given.  The fact that we live in a great country, the fact that we have options for food, the fact that….  Well, get the children to build a list.  Make it a contest.  Spend the week of Thanksgiving competing over who can come up with the most blessings our Father has given to us.

Once the focus has become one of thankfulness instead of greediness, take the next step.  Who can come up with the best way we as a family can express our gratitude.  What can we do to say thank you to Jesus?

What will this do?  It could start a new family tradition but more than that it will take the focus off of “me” and put the focus on others.  It’s amazing how my world gets bigger and brighter when I’m not in the center of it.

How many parents wished they could help their children not be so self-centered?  How many parents today wish they knew how to help their children stop being so materialistic?  This is the chance we’ve all been waiting for.

Thanksgiving wasn’t started by the “Turkey Lobby.”  Motivated by God, in 1621, Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest fest, acknowledged as the first Thanksgiving celebration.  They saw a need to focus on what their people had rather than morn what they had lost.  The Pilgrims, having experienced great tragedy and hardship, celebrated that week.  They celebrated and gave thanks to God, focusing on what they had.  They reminded themselves that as bad as it was they had fared far better than their Jamestown counterparts.

Use thanksgiving to get ready for the best Christmas ever.  Table talk: What can we do for others this Christmas?   By doing this, you will be teaching the most difficult and yet greatest lesson: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Don’t waddle away from this year’s Thanksgiving table stuffed with turkey, instead walk away stuffed with the joy of gratitude and a focus on others.  You will be giving your children a gift they will treasure forever.  The gift of giving!

Passing On the Great Thanksgiving Gift 2010-11-30T18:07:25+00:00

An Attitude of Gratitude

2010-04-04T20:07:07+00:00

One way to fight this attitude of personal rights is to begin developing an attitude of gratitude.  Thankfulness is something that is taught, it does not come naturally.  When a child is taught to be consistently thankful for what they are given and how hard their parents work to give it to them, it helps to soften the entitled attitude as they grow up.

First it is an area to be role modeled.  Do the children see thankfulness in you? Thank your children when they are helpful, when they do something out of their way just to be nice.  By consistently saying a simple thank you to your children you are teaching thankfulness.

Another way to teach thankfulness is around the dinner table you can play a thankful game.  Every family member needs to think of at least one thing that they are thankful for from that day.  This helps to keep thankfulness on the forefront of everyone’s mind, as well as creating conversation.

Sometimes just very simple solutions can help prevent bigger problems later.

Choosing to be thankful for everything we have, combats the attitude of “that’s mine” or “you can’t come in here.”

An Attitude of Gratitude 2010-04-04T20:07:07+00:00

What are you thankful for?

2010-03-13T13:17:35+00:00

As we begin our next few days of activities to count down to Easter, we are following the “Resurrection Eggs” devotional.  If you don’t have the eggs you can just find that part of the story in your Bible to read to your children and continue on with the activity.  The first egg that is opened has a little donkey in it.  This is to commemorate the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus.  This story can be found in Matthew 21. Some celebrate it as Palm Sunday.

We can take our cue from this story and use this day to praise and thank God for what He has done in our lives.  Little “Easter trees” are a very popular decoration right now.  These little trees have cute little eggs hanging from them.  We can make a “praise tree” to remind us what we are thankful for during this holiday.  You can utilize one of the Easter trees if you have one.  Just cut out pretty pieces of paper and have your family write down what they want to praise God for. You can also make a construction paper tree on your wall to decorate with your families praises.  Beginning to focus our minds during this season is a very important habit to begin.

The goal: To stop and thank God for the gift we are given at Easter.

What are you thankful for? 2010-03-13T13:17:35+00:00