I can’t think of another attribute I’d like to develop in my children more than thankfulness.
Nothing makes me heart smile like an unprompted ‘thank you’ or an uninhibited burst of gratitude.
I believe thankfulness is the mark of a great person. A grateful heart does not complain or compare. A grateful heart does not grumble or gripe. A grateful heart is a beautiful thing.
And it is rare.
I want to teach my kids to be thankful. I want them to see the good in their lives as blessings. I want their perspective to mirror their grateful hearts.
I want them to see gratitude in me.
Here are five thankful actions I’m trying to put into practice:
Serve It-In our every day lives, my hubby and I try to make service a normal part of our routine. We ask our kids to help each other out as a way of serving one another. We have also recently implemented acts of service towards others (One Day to Give). There is a new excitement in our home about serving others. My kids have innovative ideas and together, we are working on servitude.
Say It-I think one of the best ways we can show gratitude is with our words. Saying thank you at restaurants, to teachers, clergy, neighbors and friends is crucial. Our kids are taking their cues from us. And sometimes the people in our own homes have the most un-thankless jobs. I’m aiming to thank my hubby every time he takes out the trash or lends an extra hand around the house. Kids need to be verbally thanked too.
Sacrifice It-In our society, we don’t hear much about sacrifice. It’s not popular to give something up. But it’s still a valuable lesson to teach our children. I think true gratitude is born in sacrifice. Seeing others needs as greater than our own is what thankfulness is all about.
Show It-Sometimes the best way to show gratitude is through tangible means: a hand-written note, a gift from the heart or a thank you note for a birthday gift. These simple acts sometimes get lost in our high tech world.
Search for it-Life isn’t always easy. And during difficult times, it’s easy to focus on the negative. It’s during these moments, we have to look for the silver-lining in life’s trials. Perspective often changes our attitude. I try to remind my kids that they are blessed.
Food for the Soul:
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.