Thankfulness is an important family value to us. We want our kids to be really kind, generous, and thankful adults. So, that means, we need to start teaching them now while they are little kids!
Of course, I can’t FORCE them to be thankful, but I can teach them our family value of thankfulness as they are growing up in our home.
Are you ready to start being intentional to raise thankful kids? Yes? Me too!! Let’s dig in 🙂
Is it just me or does lack of thankfulness seems to stem from sense of entitlement? Even as adults we feel we are entitled to the “everyday” things. Like electricity, a vehicle, our marriage. How often do we take things for granted and we ourselves aren’t grateful for what we have? (Watch this video!) How can we expect our kids to be grateful for the plethora of toys they have when they hear us constantly talking about how we want a new house, a new vehicle, nicer vacations, etc. They are listening.
Are you the type of person who says how thankful they are for the everyday things? For a hot meal? For your kids helping out around the house? For what God has already given you?
Practice a thankful attitude, and watch as your kids begin to mirror you.
Teach Basic Manners
Teaching basic manners will help your kids with the entitlement attitude we were talking about above. You can absolutely tell the difference between a kid who has been taught basic manners versus one who hasn’t had to practice them.
A kid with basic manners says “thank you” after being given something. A kid with basic manners looks for ways to help out when visiting others. A kid with basic manners helps clean up toys without pitching a fit.
Why? By practicing basic manners you are teaching kids to be considerate of others and the environment that they are in. Basically chipping away at that sense of entitlement.
Looking for some basic manners to teach your kids? Here’s a great article!
Intentionally Say Thank You to Someone Every Day
There are certain places and people that my kids know to say “thank you” in our day to day life. If you never have your kids practice saying “thank you” unless it’s just when they receive a present, they won’t realize that so many things in our everyday lives are actually gifts!
Here are everyday situations we say “thank you” to others – Sunday School teachers, front desk gym employees, childcare workers at the gym, cashiers at the grocery store, to each other at home, preschool teachers, to grandparents for coming to visit, to our friends when they share, and to our siblings.
I genuinely LOOK for opportunities for my kids to say “thank you”. Even our 18 month old knows the sign for “thank you” and we have her practice it throughout the day as well! You are never too young to say “thank you.” 🙂
Verses About Thankfulness
Acts of Kindness
Another great way to raise thankful kids is by practicing acts of KINDNESS towards others! When we do things for others from our hearts I believe that God helps us to see how much WE have to be grateful for, and it really does lessen our own hold on things. Here are some great ways to practice acts of kindness and thankfulness toward others!
- Write Thank You Cards after any present is received – Christmas, birthday, etc.
- Write “I love you because” cards to grandparents at random times
- Make presents for others at Christmas like Operation Christmas Child
- Visit widows and widowers at your church
- Make cookies for your local firefighters
- Clean out your toys together and donate them to the church, or a family in need
- Do a service project together through your church
- Make a present or card for your sibling “just because”
- Take treats to your neighbors
- Help out at the animal adoption shelter
You can even ask your kids! Let them come up with ways to show acts of kindness towards others! More than likely they will have some great ideas and be more invested because it is THEIR idea rather than just something mom is making them do.
I also believe that a great way of showing acts of kindness should start in your own home. If you aren’t already doing things for each other, then start at home! Ask the kids how they can help out around the house, make an “I love you card” for daddy, start a family prayer time and pray for their friends, share with their siblings, etc.
Make your home a place where acts of kindness and thankfulness are common place. It will absolutely spill over in their public life as well.
What are you currently doing to raise thankful kids? Do you have anything you’d like to start doing? Let me know in the comments!!
You are loved!!