Let’s face it, even as moms it’s hard to give thanks in all things. Complaining just comes more naturally. If you don’t believe me, just strike up a conversation with the person behind you in line at the grocery store.
If we want thankful children, the first step is to become thankful ourselves. Modeling a thankful heart has much more influence than any of the tips here. The tips here, though, will give you the tools to increase thanks in your family’s life… including yours. I know I need to be reminded often to be thankful, so I expect my girls do, too. Maybe even you do, too?
1. Start a Blessings Journal.
Take just a couple minutes each day to focus on the blessings God has given you, and record them in a family journal. If your kids despise writing and you don’t want this to turn into one more chore, just have them dictate their answers to you.
2. Celebrate Thanksgiving every day!
Each night at dinner, or each morning at breakfast, go around the table and have each family member state one thing they are thankful for. Don’t worry if your kids give silly answers or the same answer every night. Over time, you’ll be able to set an example by sharing little blessings, big things, and even struggles for which you’re thankful.
3. Teach them to appreciate nature.
Many of us are living unaware of the breath-taking beauty of God’s creation. Have you ever looked at a butterfly wing up close? Taken apart a flower and studied how it grows? Stood at the edge of the ocean and meditated on God? Share these experiences with your kids and nurture their hearts to give thanks to God for His creation!
4. Show them how to express their thanks for those around them.
It just doesn’t come naturally to everyone to share encouraging words. Ask them to find one person to thank as they go out for the day, or have them write a thankful letter to someone in their life. Being intentional and completing a task will remind them to be thankful as they go about their day. Over time, it will become a habit and they will be blessing others as they learn.
5. Go to God’s Word.
Do a Word search in the Bible with your kids for “Thanksgiving” or “Thankful.” Use the verses you find for memory verses, art projects, or list them on the fridge.
These are just a few ways to nurture thankful hearts in your household. How do you model thankfulness in your life?