Thankful Boys

Gratitude has become very important to me in the last year. It’s not that it wasn’t before, but recently it has changed my daily attitude. It has changed my outlook on life.

And we knew it needed to be a larger part of our family life.

The boys take turns praying before meals, but we found they were saying the exact same thing each time they prayed before a meal. At their young age, we knew now was the time to teach them what prayer is – a time to talk to God – and what it is not – the same words repeated time after time.

This prayer time before dinner became an opportunity to not only bless the food, but to also give thanks for the blessings of the day. I love to hear what each boy enjoyed from the day, but it is even more awesome for my hubby who has just arrived home from work – a sort of recap of the day!

I’ll admit, it was like pulling teeth at first getting them to come up with things for which they were thankful. The initial items list included candy, certain toys, and more candy.

Now, it is almost hard to get them to stop listing things they are thankful for…

the baby in Mommy’s tummy
Wild Kratts
swimming lessons
our new fence
going to play at a friend’s house
a new Star Wars t-shirt

Lots of smiles are also shared as we think of all the wonderful things God has placed in our lives! We’ve had many great conversations following these expressions of gratitude.

Little J volunteered to pray at his Wednesday night church class earlier this fall. His teacher reported back to me after class that he just kept praying…and praying…and praying…but she said it was wonderful and full of thanksgiving! {And apparently all of the little three-year-old girls in his class were very impressed!}

I was so blessed to hear that his prayers of gratitude were going beyond what he expressed in our home.

We didn’t do anything fancy. We just encouraged the act of giving thanks – something any and every parent is able to do! No crafts or songs or creative magic needed!

And this I can’t emphasize strongly enough… MODEL it for them. Take your turn to pray and give thanks as well. And express gratitude verbally throughout the day – what a pleasant, God-honoring environment it provides for everyone!

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. ~Psalm 105:1 {NLT}

Erin Mohring is a follower of Jesus Christ, wife of a med student and stay-at-home mom to two lively young boys. The hubby and Erin have been blissfully married for eight years. Big J is five and Little J is almost three. She’s learning quickly about the world of boys – which you can follow at Home with the Boys!