Teaching Gratitude at Christmas


Thank You MessageThere’s an item that needs to be in every family member’s stocking this year. It’s rare that we would say “need,” but this is definitely a need.

Part of parenting needs to include teaching the lesson of gratitude.  Gratitude begins by saying “Thank You.”

Purchase a box of Thank You notes for each member of the family and place it in their stockings.  Find a way to track each gift when opened.  Each family member can have their own pad or one family member (in our house it was Mom) can sit with a pad and keep track for everyone.  Set aside a night before New Years to sit down as a family writing notes and drinking hot chocolate.

Taking the time to write a Thank You note is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a training thing to do.  Nothing teaches gratitude like learning to say “Thank You.”

Teaching Gratitude at Christmas2009-12-10T22:36:39-04:00

Thanks for Dinner Mom!


iStock_000008653718XSmall.Thank_YouTeaching entitlement comes without any effort.  Children in our culture automatically feel entitled to a mobile phone.

Teaching gratitude takes effort but it’s a very worthwhile endeavor.

Start with gratitude for everyday things like dinner. A negative statement about an item of dinner should be off limits. Make a negative statement and you are doing the dishes.

Every family member should be required to thank mom for making the dinner.

“Thanks for dinner tonight Mom” is a statement that acknowledges that someone, namely mom, went to the effort to get dinner on the table.

This gratitude campaign is best begun and enforced by dad. But it can be handled by anyone, even mom.

Remember, it’s not really for mom, it’s to teach gratitude.  Important? Gratitude just might be the attitude that gets your child’s marriage through a difficult season.  Teach it now and it will serve them later.

Thanks for Dinner Mom!2009-11-25T09:41:58-04:00

One of the Most Amazing Stories Never Told


iStock_000010355993XSmall - Psalm 100-4Thanksgiving has one of the most Amazing God stories. Years before the Pilgrims left England for America a slave ship cruising the coast of America captured several Native Americans. These captives were brought back to England where they were taught English so they could be questioned about the extent of the Indian tribes and the terrain in the new world.

Later one of these Native Americans, Squanto, earned his release and returned  to his tribal area in New England. Tragically, he was captured again, brought back to Europe and was purchased by Portuguese Monks. They lead him to Christ and once again Squanto gained the opportunity to return to the Massachusetts shore.

What appeared to be one tragic event after another actually turned out to be used by God to fulfill His plans for the Pilgrims and Squanto.  It was this English speaking Christian Native American that was the one to rescue the Pilgrims that first winter. He ended up being a missionary to them.

Thanksgiving illustrates that God does cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28).

One of the Most Amazing Stories Never Told2009-11-23T14:02:59-04:00

We Need Thanksgiving (to Teach Gratitude)


iStock_000004249132XSmall Thanksgiving prayer

In a society of individuals that constantly want more, isn’t it important for parents to teach our children the concept of gratitude?  If a child doesn’t grow up in a home that teaches gratitude for what it has, this child will be at the mercy of every marketer he or she encounters.

Thanksgiving shouldn’t just be a title for a holiday.  Thanksgiving should be an action instigated by a Holy Day.  This Thanksgiving do it!  Give thanks!  Get your kids focused on the location of the thanks.

The Pilgrims didn’t lose their jobs they lost their family members.  Yet they had the sense to stop and give thanks to God for the fact that He was still in control and He alone could one day make sense of all they were dealing with (Romans 8:28).

Use this Thanksgiving to teach the giving of thanks.  Begin the process of teaching gratitude.

We Need Thanksgiving (to Teach Gratitude)2009-11-20T00:56:21-04:00

Are You Using Thanksgiving Well?


iStock_000000832589XSmall refrigeratorThis year’s Thanksgiving just might be the most important day of the year.  It’s a day to teach our children gratitude.

The original Thanksgiving came at a time when the Pilgrims had just completed the worst year of their lives.  One-hundred-two People landed at Plymouth and almost half died that first year and yet they chose to do something different than you would expect.  The leadership of this little band of people chose to get their families focused on what they had rather than what they had lost.

A couple days before Thanksgiving get a large poster board and tape it to the refrigerator.  Write on top: Things I’m Thankful For.  Then be the first to write down something you are thankful for and then your initials.  Encourage everyone to put something down and take a moment at your Thanksgiving table to read the entries on the board.

In this economy it’s very important to get the kids focused on what they have rather than what they want.  There’s no mistaking the fact that God put Thanksgiving on the calendar one month before Christmas.

Are You Using Thanksgiving Well?2009-11-19T18:07:18-04:00