How to Grow Grateful Kids (And Maybe a Grateful Mom too!)
Our home has had an unwelcome visitor this fall. It rears its ugly head during different conversations in our home - and among various family members. It pops up suddenly as my husband and I discuss future goals and finances. And it echoes through my brain sometimes when I browse Facebook. What is this annoying invader? Discontentment. How do I intend to oust this unwanted guest? The power of GRATITUDE!
Yes, the subject of this newsletter is timely with the month of Thanksgiving. But total transparency..... God is working on me! There have been too many times recently when I've not counted my surplus but my shortage. I've made note of my absence and not my abundance. I've focused on my "lack of" rather than my lavish blessings.
Author and speaker, Nancy Leigh DeMoss has authored an inspiring and challenging book entitled "Choosing Gratitude." One quote states, "A grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment; it is the fruit of a thousand choices." And, so it is that I want to intentionally make the choice to instill gratitude in the hearts of my little ones - and in my own.
1) Because gratitude is attractive. Grateful people are encouraging, uplifting and life-giving. Individuals who are grateful inspire others and are pleasant to be around.
2) Because gratitude produces joy. It is impossible to be thankful for something and complain about it at the same time! I love the quote that says, "It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful."
3) Because gratitude is godly. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1Thessalonians 5:18. If we want to live lives that honor our God, we want to live lives flowing with thankfulness and praise.
How do we grow gratefulness in the "garden" of our home?
Psychology, research, and Bible all agree that our thoughts lead to our emotions which transform our actions! If we want our children (and ourselves) to act grateful and feel thankful, we need to start with growing a grateful mind. Intentionally choosing to think about and dwell on blessings (over time) will transform hearts, emotions, and actions.
In our home we are starting something new. In effort to grow grateful hearts, we are making a Gratitude tree. Every day for the rest of this month, we are adding a "grateful leaf" daily with one thing written down for which each person is grateful. Additionally, when a child (or parent!) is caught engaging with our unwelcome guest - discontentment, they will also add a leaf to the grateful tree. Finally, to transform our thoughts as a family, we are memorizing the verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Our gratitude tree is pictured above.
What about you? What creative ways do you infuse gratitude into your home? What one intentional step would you like to take this week or month? I would love to hear from you!
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
- William Arthur Ward
SPEAKING EVENTS November 4
Redeemer Presbyterian MOPS
New Hope MOPS
College Park MOPS
I help women confidently navigate life during the season of motherhood. Shift from "reacting" to purposefully leading your life - which eliminates overwhelm and guilt and brings joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.