“Tink you, Gramma!” says my two-year-old grandson, Benson. Hearing that just warms my heart! It’s so gratifying to know that my children are teaching their children not only good manners, but to be thankful.
This time of year is becoming one of my favorites more and more. Not only for the beauty of the weather and changing leaves, but also for the arrival of Thanksgiving, the non-gift giving holiday, and the most overlooked holiday of the year. I love the idea of cultivating a grateful heart, and Thanksgiving always makes me reflect on that.
One thing I’ve discovered is that a thankful heart is “grown.” It’s something that is taught and practiced. It doesn’t come naturally to us. Maybe that’s the wisdom of our forefathers setting aside an annual day to reflect on our blessings.
Children are such little sponges who absorb so much of what is around them, both positive and negative. Who hasn’t heard those overheard words come from the mouths of their very young child? We all have! So imagine the power of demonstrating gratitude and thanksgiving in front of your children on a regular basis.
CAUTION: Only a grandmother can say this…don’t set the bar too high! Children see the world through their eyes only. Thankfulness is developed over time. And by time, I mean years, not days. Your responsibility is to plant the seeds of thanksgiving, and to be a good role model. It does take a process of growing, understanding and learning, but they will eventually get it!
Here are a couple of easy ways to teach gratitude and “grow thanks” in your home:
Be polite to each other
Use phrases like “please” and “thank you” regularly to your children and your spouse. This cultivates an attitude of respect and gratitude in your home — it gets easier with practice!
Share your blessings out loud with your children
Children often don’t know what their blessings are. They don’t know that not everyone has some of the things they have. And they may not know that they are one of your blessings.
Maybe you need time to reflect on your own blessings? We all have our “stuff,” as in all things we wish were not a part of our lives — our own trials. Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful, but it’s okay to start small. Starting small could be setting aside five minutes a day to think on those things that cause you to give thanks. November is the perfect month to start!
Grandkids & Grandparents
I have been married to the greatest guy on earth, Mark, for 30 years. We have three wonderful children and three of the cutest grandchildren in the world, of course. And to our great delight, we have two more grandchildren due in March! As I blog each month, you will meet each of the members of my family as they are the reason that I have anything to say at all.