Thankfulness is a beautiful fruit to bear. For most of us, we all know what it means to be thankful but have you ever considered how the concept was introduced to you? Low and behold parenting to introduce another lesson imperative to our baby’s spirits—the lesson of thankfulness. Don’t you love the lessons parenting bestows on us!
In our home, we started teaching thankfulness as soon as our babies were born. From encouraging them to thank us for common occurrences like meals or gifts to encouraging them to thank each other for sharing, we really wanted our children to know that no one is entitled to anything. And we should be thankful for everything, even the things we assume we’re entitled to.
Despite my husband and I never allowing our children to go without the bare necessities, we make them thank us for basic things to teach them that everyone isn’t in their position. In fact, we explain to them that in our city there’s a child wishing they had what our kids have and for that, we explain to them why they should never take anything for granted.
Because most children learn from example, we grant our babies opportunities to display their gratefulness and thankfulness by sharing some of their blessings with others.
Here are few ways you can mold a grateful heart in your babies.
We pray with our children daily and I make it a point to welcome them into intimate parts of my conversations with God. This means they see mama cry and cry out to Jesus! Including them in prayer has really enhanced their perspectives!
Paying it forward
More recently, my four year old has been more observant about recognizing people in need. In addition to explaining that everyone isn’t as fortunate as others, we encourage him to share his blessing. This means allowing him to bless the homeless with money, food, and when we don’t have physically things, prayer and smiles. This means blessing neighbors with some of his old toys. Doing these things on a regular basis has positioned Liam’s heart to always be ready to give!
Respecting their things, selves, and others
Respect coincides with thankfulness more than you think. We teach the kids that respecting themselves, others, and their things not only shows God a grateful heart but it shows Him that if they can cherish what they have now, they’re ready to be promoted to something bigger and better.
Holiday season can be a dark time for many living without, especially this year. Remember to be thankful for everything and everyone you have in your life. And to those in fortunate positions, share some extra kindness this year!