Helping My Child Embrace Gratitude
When our children are small we have to prompt them to do everything. Go clean your room, chew with your mouth closed, say thank you. At some point, these things should become automatic. Do you find yourself STILL prompting your child to say thank you? When does that become automatic?
Instilling gratitude in our children takes work. They are not born grateful, they’re born selfish. So how do we teach them gratefulness? How do we help our child embrace gratefulness?
Check out this month’s video on Helping My Child Embrace Gratefulness. Then we will look at some additional steps for instilling gratitude, and we’ll tackle the subject of how using pocket-money will help with gratefulness as well.
Gratitude is an attitude that we choose to have. In reality a grateful heart has NOTHING to do with what we have- material possessions. A grateful heart also isn’t birthed out of positive circumstances in life. Gratitude is an attitude we possess when we know WHOSE we are.
When you read of Paul and Silas imprisoned in Acts 16, you find out they’d just been severely beaten by a crowd and dragged to prison. As they’re in prison that evening, we see Paul and Silas doing 2 things; praying and singing hymns. We can learn a lot about gratefulness from the responses of these men. Upon a severe beating and imprisonment, we see them expressing adoration and gratitude to God. Their attention wasn’t fixed on their circumstances; it was fixed on God Himself.
So now that we understand that gratitude isn’t about being thankful for our stuff or our great circumstances, but rather an attitude fixed on God Himself, how do we instil an attitude of gratefulness in our children?
Live in the present. Living in the past keeps us tied to guilt and regret. Living in the future leaves us striving for things that we’re not promised. Live for today.
Make sure when you express graitutde that it isn’t just for things. Be grateful for good attitudes, great friends, kind words, etc.
Develop an understanding of money with pocket money. While instituting pocket money, teach what it means to save, tithe, give and spend.
Expose your children to people from all different walks of life. Help them see what people HAVE doesn’t define WHO they are.
Gratefulness is an attitude of contentment. It’s when WE say I don’t need more from God to follow Him completely. I’ll follow NOW. Our children will learn gratitude from us when they see it modelled through this type of attitude.