I have a little one that is always asking for things every time we go to the store. It may be for a toy, food or some snack that caught his attention as we walk the isles of the store.
He also showed a little dislike...ok ok...pitched a huge fit over the thought of not getting a present for his birthday from his father and I.
Now before I get hate mail, we throw the party and all the family and friends buy him plenty of gifts. We consider our gift to him is the party. He is only six years old and it's a great time to teach him to be grateful for what he has and what he is given.
I also feel a little guilty as the parent that I let it get this far before making an intentional decision to make sure everyone in our family shows gratitude on a regular basis.
I sat down and made a list on how I could guide my little boy into being more grateful. I also did a little research and attached a bible verse to each point I needed to think about and hopefully recite to my family as we learn to be more grateful.
10 Ways to Raise a Grateful Child
#1 Lead by example. Are you an adult who is grateful and shows it? Titus 2:7
#2 Make sure "please" and "thank you" are a part of your family's everyday vocabulary. Psalm 19:14
#3 Make time to give and volunteer with your kids on a regular basis. Explain to them why you do this, how it helps others and how we are to be thankful we can give and volunteer to help others. Acts 20:35
#4 Have everyone in the house be aware of making sure lights are turned off and water isn't running when not being used. Teaching children to be aware of our resources, how much they are using and not to waste them will help them be aware of what they are using and save you a little on your utility bill. Win-Win! Colossians 3:23
#5 Ease up on buying your kid more stuff. Kids DO NOT need a toy every time they enter a store. If your child is always asking for something when you go to the store, remind them before you get out of the car that you are only getting what is needed on your list and that they have plenty of toys at home waiting for them. A trip to the store may be like a trip to the museum, you may look at the nice things but you may not touch! Matthew 6:19-21 & Luke 12:15
#6 Verbally express your blessings. Try to have a moment where each person says one thing they are thankful for that day. Being aware of what we are thankful for helps keep us grateful...even us adults. Psalm 103:2
#7 Teach the child to treat everyone with respect. No one is better than anyone else. We all are human beings. We all have our own struggles. God is not a respecter of persons and neither should we be. Romans 2:11
#8 Be positive and teach them to be positive. Always look for the good in every situation. Reminding our kids who is in control and to always look for that silver lining. Philippians 4:8
#9 Have them work for it. If they want a toy and it's not a special occasion like their birthday or Christmas, perhaps have them work for it. This may help them understand that things are not free. It will also help them not take it for granted. Proverbs 14:23
#10 Don't get frustrated. Your gentle reminders and examples will lead them in being more grateful little by little. Galatians 6:9
Pray. Pray. Pray. Seeking God as we raise the children He has blessed us with. Matthew 6:33
Do you have any to add to my list? I'd love to hear about it. Leave your suggestion in the comments below.
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