Raise a Grateful Child
“Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.” –Ann Voskamp
Raising a child who walks in thankfulness can be a challenge in today’s “give me more, give it now” attitude. However, as we walk in gratefulness for even the “insignificant” things in life, our children will learn to emulate us. Beyond simply copying us as parents, our goal should be for our children to truly develop a heart of gratitude. Of course, it’s a matter of them choosing thankfulness, but we can teach them what it means to be thankful.
One way to raise a grateful child is by sharing one thing each day with each other that you are thankful for in your lives. This can take place around the dinner table, on the drive home from school or before bedtime.
Another way to raise a grateful child is by seeing beyond difficult circumstances. Regardless of what’s happening in life, we can always choose our attitudes. As we choose Joy, despite difficulty, our children see that and learn how to deal with tough situations with gratefulness.
Keep a family “Thanksgiving” journal…each night family members can take turns writing one thing to be thankful for in the journal. What fun it will be to look back over all of the many thanksgivings over the years! Keeping a journal will also teach them to write down their thoughts and that even the small things in life matter.
Volunteer in the community as a family. As your children learn how to serve others, they will hopefully become more aware of others’ needs. Looking beyond ourselves to helping others is a wonderful way to develop gratefulness.
Write thank you notes. The practice of sending thank you notes is beginning to be a lost art. Train your children to write thank you notes, and it will stay with them through the years. Everyone loves to receive a note in the mail. Writing thank you notes gives children the opportunity to stop and reflect on the good thing that was given or done for them. We can all use a little more of that type of reflection in our lives!
What’s one thing you are grateful for today? It could be the seed that brings the miracle.