There is so much more to having a grateful heart than just saying “thank you.” Of course that is definitely where it starts with our little ones, reminding them to say “thank you” when someone gives them something or is kind to them. As our children grow though, how can we be intentional about developing a grateful heart in them?
To truly develop a grateful heart we can’t just talk about being thankful for one month of the year. The season of Thanksgiving is a great start, but it’s something that we should be dedicated to all year. After all as the classic VeggieTale song wisely reminds us, “A thankful heart is a happy heart.”
The thank you note is a thoughtful tradition that you don’t see people using as often anymore. As soon as your children can write or draw encourage them to thank others for the gifts they have been given.
To really help your children think about the people that are a blessing in their lives have them write thankful for you notes. Many people bless our lives just by being a part of it. Help your children think about how family members and friends brighten their life and then encourage them to share with those people what a gift they are.
God’s Word instructs us to give thanks. Focus on a different verse about thanksgiving each day or week as a family. Discuss it and write it somewhere your family will see throughout the day.
Print these verse cards about giving thanks and put them somewhere your family will be reminded about each week’s verse.
Use a few minutes around the table each evening to discuss something everyone in your family is thankful for. These gratitude conversation starters can help your family think beyond the typical things you usually think of being thankful for and help you realize there is always something to be thankful for.
Lead by Example
Of course one of the greatest ways you can teach your children to have a grateful heart is by having one yourself. Your attitude and words have a tremendous impact on the hearts of your children.
- When you are going through a trial share with them reasons you have to be thankful.
- Tell your children why you are thankful for them.
- Throughout the day praise God for the blessings in your life.
Remember a grateful heart doesn’t happen overnight. It’s something that develops over time and must be consistently nurtured. Be sure to check the attitude of your heart and your family’s throughout the year so you don’t neglect developing a grateful heart attitude in your family.
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