5 Thing I Want My Kids To Be Thankful For

With Thanksgiving coming up (tomorrow!), I've been thinking about how I want to teach my kids to be thankful to God for their blessings.  There are so many creative ways to do that, and maybe I'll compile a list of ideas at a future time, but today I just wanted to write about some things that I want my kids to be thankful for.  I think when we consistently demonstrate gratitude and talk to kids about specific blessings, they are more likely to be thankful for those things as they grow.

I want them to be thankful for Jesus, and what He did on the cross for us.  I think it is so fitting that a holiday all about being thankful to God falls right before the season where we celebrate the birth of His Son.  It is so important to me that I teach my kids about Jesus's sacrifice in coming to earth and dying for our sins (and rising again!), and I think Thanksgiving provides a great opportunity to refocus on that right before the Christmas craziness!

I want my kids to be thankful for living in America.  I still believe that America is the greatest nation on earth, with more opportunities and freedoms than any other place in the world.  It is an extraordinary blessing to be born and raised in such a country, that recognizes our God-given rights and has a rich heritage and history of being founded on biblical principles.  They also have the opportunity to control their own government, and not very many people can say that.  Only a small percentage of people in the world have what we have in this country, and I want my kids to know and appreciate that.

I want them to be thankful for their family, including their extended family.  For some it may be hard to be grateful for family, because although family members can be a source of some of the greatest blessings, they can also be involved in some of the deepest pains.  But God placed us in families for a reason, and it is a blessing to have living family and good family relationships.  Families are messy, but they are also priceless, and I want my kids to know how blessed they are to have a family that loves them.

I want my kids to be thankful for material blessings.  This is probably one of the most common categories of things that people might be thankful for on Thanksgiving, but it's important.  I heard a statistic that if you make more than $34,000 a year, you are in the top 1% of wage earners in the world. That is for individuals, not families, but it still puts things into perspective.  I want my kids to know what a blessing it is just to be warm and filled, because so many don't have even that.  Gratitude also promotes generosity, so I hope knowing how blessed they are in material ways will prompt them to also give to others.

I want them to be thankful for God's Word.  I wrote about this earlier this week, but the Bible is such a gift.  God's written word is what allows us to know about Him and to know Him personally.  I can't imagine not having it, and I want my kids to grow to love and be thankful for God's Word.

The first step in helping kids become grateful for the things that matter is to show that you are grateful for them.   It is so important to give thanksgiving to God for the things He has given us throughout the year, not just on Thanksgiving.  When we give thanks to God for our blessings in front of our kids, that genuine gratitude will rub off on them as well.


What are some things you are thankful for, and what do you want to pass on to your kids?

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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Erica Layne | Let Why Lead said...

This is a beautiful list!! I want my kids to appreciate each of these too.

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