Episode 21: Encouraging Our Children to Have a Heart of Gratitude
By: Jamie Gaddy
Today we’re talking about thankfulness and Gratitude. Sadly – It seems to be a rather elusive character trait in our American culture today. So today we’ll be discussing some practical ways we can encourage this in our children. It’s so needful!
Joining us today is Amanda! Amanda is a homeschool mom of 9 and one of our Homeschool.com contributing writers – She is originally from Colorado but now living in Texas. Welcome, Amanda, it’s great to have you join us today.
Thank you, I’m grateful to be here.
So Amanda – our topic of How to Encourage a Heart of Gratitude in our Children is really a tough one. But wouldn’t you say – – as with most character training – – the old adage – -more is caught than taught – – would be the best starting point?
It is definitely where we have to begin.
I’ve really tried to be more intentional about this in my own life. To be careful about how I speak – and how I act/react in this area. To be an example of gratitude.
As a mom of 9 I’m sure you’ve had your ups and downs with the kids in this area – as I have
BUT What ways have you found most effective in instilling a true spirit of gratitude in your kids?
We enjoy creating conversation starters/questions that we put in a glass jar on the kitchen table. We’ll pull one out and ask each member of the family.
Don’t you feel that having the kids live out acts of kindness to others tends to incite gratefulness in their own hearts for the blessings that they have? I know My kids have at times gone to nursing homes and sang – we’ve taken gifts of necessities to the homeless shelter… and my kids have always come away with a better attitude. But it’s something that has to be fostered. We tend to forget as do our children – so reminders of how blessed we are and how others may be in difficult situations tend to help us be mindful of how we need to be grateful.
Do you have some suggestions for activities that may encourage gratitude?
If you can’t get out to the nursing home or other places, try picking up trash in the neighborhood or checking on elderly neighbors you may have.
I love those ideas. Practicing gratitude helps us internalize it and make it part of our everyday lives.
Do you have any fun ways to intentionally encourage thoughts on gratitude in our daily homeschooling routine?
We use a grateful journal. Each morning we write about 3 things that we are grateful for. This helps the kids to really think about the blessings in their lives. I’ve also seen a Gratitude Wall idea that would go great with the conversation starters.
I love the gratitude wall idea – we have a chalkboard in the kitchen and I think I’m going to tie a piece of chalk to it and encourage the kids to write one thing each day that they are grateful for! I love it – thanks for sharing!
Amanda do you have any final thoughts or encouragement for our homeschoolers?
Amanda is a contributing writer for Homeschool.com and you can find her article on Kid Activities that Encourage a Heart of Gratitude.
Thank you so much for joining us today! And special thanks to Amanda for encouraging us to be more intentional about encouraging our children to be grateful.
Hoping you have week full of things to be grateful for…
With grace and joy,
About the Series
Where'd my instruction manual go??? I know we've all wondered that about parenting and homeschooling! Join us as we chat about the big stuff and everything in-between! Helping homeschoolers with practical teaching tips to find all they need to Homeschool and Love it!!