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Teaching Your Kids Gratitude

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This month in Children’s Ministry we have been talking with our kids about gratitude.  That conversation is different for each age group, but our bottom line is:

Gratitude—Letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.

Here is a little research on gratitude*:

Gratitude is associated with increased self-worth

When you acknowledge that you’re grateful to someone for something, you’re also acknowledging that someone else has incurred a cost on your behalf.  It stands to reason that if others are willing to incur a cost for you, then you must be worth something. 

Being grateful is a social emotion

Being grateful is a great way to increase your sense of social connection.

The more you practice being grateful, the more you find to be grateful for

The brain can only process so much information coming in from the world around us.  If it’s focused on finding things to be grateful for, then it notices less of the negative and more of the positive.

Modeling & Teaching Gratitude in Your Family

  1. Write thank you notes to people who help you as a family.
  2. Designate a place in your home for the family to leave notes of gratitude (towards each other or those outside the family).
  3. Teach manners to help your kid’s pause and verbalize a grateful heart.
  4. Thank your kids for things they do in your family.
  5. Choose something to thank God for each day during your dinner blessing or bedtime prayers.
  6. Post Scripture in your home, such as Psalm 136:1: “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good” and encourage Scripture memory.

For crafty ideas to instill an attitude of gratitude in your children this Thanksgiving, jump over to LifeWay's blog post: Teaching An Attitude of Gratitude.

 

*from Dr. Christine Carter of UC Berkley’s Greater Good Institute

Posted by Mimi Brookshire with