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Teaching Thankfulness
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As the mother of five children, I have realized that children are not always as thankful as they should be. In fact, children can be downright greedy at times and you may even wonder how it was possible that you gave birth to such a selfish creature.

So, how do we, as moms and dads, teach our adorable children that life is not always easy and they should be thankful for all that they have and appreciate what others have done for them or given to them? Here are some easy ways you can incorporate being thankful in your everyday life.

  • Model Thankful Behavior -This may seem like an obvious one, but how often do you remember to say thank you when someone does a something for you? How often do you tell your children how thankful you are that you have a warm home, or a full fridge, or even a friendly pet? We should be thankful for all things in this life. Tonight as you sit together at the dinner table begin a new conversation with the words, “I am so thankful for …” even if all you can think to be thankful for is the fact that your family is together.
  • Let Your Children Contribute - Kids like to feel they are contributing something worthwhile to others. Whether it be helping you set the table, or baking cookies for a neighbor, or raking leaves for an elderly person, children will be more thankful if they feel they are helpful to others. A good lesson can be learned from volunteering time at a local soup kitchen or other charity. It never hurts for children to realize there are others who are less fortunate than they are.
  • Don’t Bombard Children with Too Much Stuff - Kids are like sponges. They will grab up as much stuff as they can. Has your child ever had a case of the GIMMES? Once they get it, it can be a hard task to change their selfish attitude to one of thankfulness. One word: PURGE! Give excess to the needy.
  • Keep a Family Blessings Journal - Record happy events, fun memories and other notes on Friday evenings after supper. From time to time re-read the entries.
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By Melissa Ringstaff. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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