Make an effort to regularly express gratitude in front of your child. At mealtime, say, “Thank you Jesus for this healthy food!” While playing in the yard say, “Thank you, Jesus, for the beautiful fall colors – the red and yellow and orange leaves!” At bedtime say, “Thank you Jesus for our house with warm beds.” Help your children see that Jesus is the one that gives all that we have.
While driving in your car this week, ask, “What would it be like if we didn’t have a car?” Work together to include your kids’ ideas in a short rhyme of praise. For example, “God, thanks for our car; without it we couldn’t go far!” Each time you drive somewhere, repeat the jingle and add another verse like this one: “God, thanks for our food; not to say thanks would be really rude!” This is a fun way to remember to thank God for all the ways He provides for your family. See how many verses you can add to your “thankfulness jam” and still remember them!
Question: What has God given you? Why do you think He did?
Follow up: Encourage your children to show gratitude by teaching them how to say thank you in a different language. Here’s a video that can help! How many can they memorize? Having fun using a “new” word might encourage your kids to say thank you more often.
Question: Ask, “How can being ungrateful take the joy out of blessings?” (For example, whining about not having a new car can steal the joy of having any car at all.)
Follow Up: Ask, “Why is it difficult to be thankful to God? What do you think social media does to our overall attitudes?” (dissatisfaction vs. gratitude)
For my adult child: Say, “Have I told you lately that I’m thankful for you?” “I thank God for you. I thank God for your health, and for our relationship.” “What’s something you’re feeling thankful for lately?”
Prompt for myself: How does my faith in Jesus connect to being thankful? Do I cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” in my home? Challenge: Every day this week, tell someone in your life why you are thankful to God.