Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for parents.
Your kids are home from school, and you are spending more time than usual with your family and friends, which can be a recipe for frustration. In the end, many parents only feel thankful for the end of the week. :)
Despite the challenges that accompany Thanksgiving and the holiday season, you can still use this time to teach your children to be thankful, which will, in turn, help you to become more grateful.
Here are four ways you can raise a thankful child.
#1 - Set an example
As a parent, the first place to start in teaching your children to be thankful is to exemplify thankfulness. In general, if you are grateful, then your children will learn gratitude. In particular, let your children know that you’re thankful for them as a person and express thankfulness for the things they do or say. These small actions will in time help your children learn how to express appreciation.
#2 - Plan giving
After Thanksgiving, your thoughts as a family will gravitate toward Christmas. For most parents, you will have your children make a list of what they want, which naturally creates excitement.
Now, take the Christmas list idea and adapt it by having your children make a list of things they can give to someone or something else, like your church or a non-profit organization. This small pivot in your child’s Christmas list will help them to see what goes into giving gifts and lead them to experience the excitement of giving something to someone else.
#3 - Thank God
There’s more to being thankful than being thankful.
Leading your children to become more thankful is something you cannot do in your strength or this short checklist.
What you do can mold your child’s behavior, but it will not change their heart to be thankful. Only the Lord can make your children gracious from the inside out.
When you struggle with following this checklist or your children come across ungracious, then the best thing you can do is first to receive grace from God and then extend it to your children. So, you don’t only want to ask for forgiveness, but you also want to pray for the ability to be thankful.
#4 - Make a list of what you’re thankful for
Regardless of your age, it’s easy to get tunnel vision, complain about certain things not working out, and lose sight of all of the good things in your life. As you and your children make a list of what you're thankful for will help the both of you to see all of the good things in your life.
What have you found helpful in teaching your children thankfulness?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.