Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaching Gratitude

During this season of thanksgiving we often find ourselves purposely focusing on what we are thankful for and also on helping our children learn how to be grateful. By nature we humans tend to take our blessings for granted. The things that we see, use, and have everyday become just that, everyday. These are the things that we don't even notice anymore. It will take more than a month out of the whole year for us to train our children to be grateful. We can't allow them to relish in the lavish "American" lifestyle for 11 months and then expect them to be overflowing with things they are thankful for the other one month. So, how does our family help our children to "see" their blessing all throughout the year.

  • First, we expose our children, in age/maturity appropriate ways to the living conditions of others around the world. We do this through missionary books and hunger relief programs like Samaritan's Purse and World Vision.
  • We also involve our children in outreach through our local church. We deliver meals to those that are sick, buy gifts for those in need, and "give up" a meal out to help someone with bills. We are VERY open with our children about giving sacrifically.
  • And one of the biggest ways that we teach children to be grateful for their own blessings is that before a birthday and always before Christmas our children go through their toy boxes and donate toys that they are finished with. We make sure that they don't just donate the "junk" toys from the bottom of the box either. At times we ask them to really search their hearts, do you really need that many babies, barbies, hot wheels, etc. Just because you play with it doesn't mean that you should keep it. Another child may not have any toys that nice.

So we use these ways as well as any other ideas or conversations that come up throughout the year to train our children to be grateful all year long. But we, as most other people, use this season of the year to focus heavily on this training.

And here are a few of the tools that we have used this year to focus on this season of Thanksgiving....

A huge list of Thanksgiving themed free printables.

An entire ebook that is packed full of practical ideas for busy moms like you!

A download that has everything "crafty" from paper crafts, decorations, table accents and crafts for children too!!

How do you train your children toward gratitude? Do you have a website, a blog post, a lesson that you could share with us? Please leave a comment and let's help each other capture gratitude in the hearts of our children.

Written by Happily Domestic Contributor - Amanda Sikes

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1 comment:

morebears said...

I may not have any child at home I do appreciate you writing. God has blessed you with a gift of writing his word.
Love you

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