Finding ways to grumble and complain is easy. Choosing to look for ways to express gratitude can seem like one of those dreaded last chance workouts on the hit series, The Biggest Loser.
Disciplining ourselves in any area takes work; whether it be eating healthier, exercising, reading our Bible or praying. The age old excuse, ‘I have no time’, should be removed from our lips.
The greatest accomplishments in life came with great sacrifice, hard work, and a training process called discipline.
1 Corinthians 9:27 says,
“But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
So parents, how do we help our kids learn the discipline of choosing gratitude over grumbling? How can we help them learn to express everyday gratitude? Here is a list of practical ideas you might like to try with your family:
1. The “Sonbeam” Project
Have your kids grab a piece of paper and some crayons. Next, Have them draw a circle in the middle of the paper. In the center of the circle, have them write “I am grateful for”. Next, have them draw lines out from the circle, similar to sun beams. Take turns talking about what you are grateful for and writing them on the lines. This is called the “Sonbeam” project because when we are grateful, The Son, (Jesus) gives us a cheery and happy disposition.
2. The Water Faucet Game
Gather your children in the kitchen and the bathroom (you know, the place you are always trying to get them to not make a mess in); this time, let them play. Get a bowl full of water and let each one take turns filling the cup and pouring it out in the sink. Feel the way the water turns warm, then cold. Talk about what you would do if you didn’t have water to drink out of a faucet, or water to bathe with? Take time to pray and thank God, right there, for the simple blessing of running water.
3. Friendship Talk
Talk with your children about who some of their closest friends are. What makes them such a great friend? How does the gift of friendship make their life more special and meaningful? Take time to thank God together for the wonderful gift that friends are.
4. The Gift of Literature
The ability God gives us to learn how to read and grow from literature is sometimes the thing taken most for granted. Reading God’s Word is an amazing blessing to thank the Lord for. Also, reading books that point us to Jesus and to know Him better are wonderful assets and tools! Consider these books for your little ones:
5. Public Worship
Discuss the fact that around the world, people are being hurt and threatened for speaking up about their relationship with Jesus. Thank God together as a family for the freedom you have to go to church and worship Him freely.
6. Make A Gratitude Board
Put up a cork board in a central location of your house and label it “gratitude board”. Leave some post its and tacks near the board and have your family leave things they are thankful for on the board throughout the day.
Hands-on activities are a wonderful way to bond with the hearts of your children. I hope you’ll take the time to try even just a few of these with your kids!
We want to hear from YOU. What’s one simple way you help your kids express everyday gratitude?
This post originally appeared on FaithGateway!
Traci Little: Traci is a curly-headed dreamer who loves her Savior, adores her best friend called Hubby, and her three children! She never knew how much she would love being at home full time with her kids, but she does (most days)! What a privilege and high calling! She loves to blog, take pictures, cook, decorate cakes, and make her home cozy and inviting! She also enjoys teaching women God’s Word through Bible studies at church and online devotions. It is her desire to glorify God through encouraging and edifying other women. It is her heart’s cry to motivate women to abide in Christ, respect their spouse, and raise their little ones to know the love of Jesus. God’s grace captivates her in such a way that she wants her life to make a difference for His glory.