In this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, many parents want their families to be more than the sum of consumerism and media bytes about these holidays. We want our children to be grateful, thankful and giving people. We want them to contribute to our society. We want them to be good citizens who care for those less fortunate around them.
How do we do this? How do we build a heart of gratitude?
I wish I had some great ideas on what I’ve done and how well I’ve trained my children. I’m still working this one out myself and have more failure than success, I’m sorry to say. But I can share the few things we’ve done or have worked on (or are still working on). I’m sure you can share much more than I can, and I’m excited to learn from YOU!
- When our children were little, we did a Thankful Tree. I’d cut out a trunk (I’m no artist, I’m afraid) and I’d cut out leaves and each day we were all encouraged to write out what we were thankful for that day and put it on the tree. By Thanksgiving, we had a full and beautiful tree of gratitude!
- For years, we’ve sponsored a young man from India with Compassion International. Reading his letters was always a treat for us all! We supported their desires to support their own child.
- Our children always knew that our financial resources were limited. They were trained to be frugal shoppers. They knew that many things they wanted were not things we could buy and were encouraged to earn their own money to buy their special “luxuries”.
- When we open our gifts on Christmas morning, we often spend time praying for and giving thanks for those who gave gifts to us.
- We’ve participated in Operation Christmas Child as a family and supported their own desire to do their own.
As you can see, this is not my biggest strength, but I’m thankful for the few things we have done and always looking to learn more and better ways to grow. Our children really do enjoy helping others and really are grateful for the blessings in their lives.
What things have YOU done (or do) to help build hearts of gratitude in your children?
Blogs I might be linking to:
Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Playdates at the Well, Back to School Monday, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays, Legacy Leaver Thursday, What’s Up Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, First Day of My Life , Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Feasting In Fellowship Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, A Little R&R