How Does Your Family Practice Gratitude?

 

With the holiday season approaching, we all want to help our kids to create a habit of showing gratitude. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start! If you need a fresh idea to kickstart your family’s gratitude focus, check out what these Elevation staff parents have to say about how their families practice gratitude.

Angel and Kevin Carpenter: We have a three-year-old and a one-year-old. At their ages, instead of just asking what they’re thankful for that day, it helps us to start with questions like, “Who shared with you today?,” or, “Who made you feel special today?” It helps them start recognizing the people and things they can be thankful for even before they can really understand what gratitude is.

Jayson and Charmaine Price: We have a lot of people who love our children, all the way from our home state of Tennessee to here in Charlotte, North Carolina. So anytime our kids receive a gift, whether it’s from family or friends, we make a video of the kids saying thank you for the gift. If they got clothes, they might put the clothes on, or if it’s a toy, we’ll show them playing with it. It’s a way we help them practice being grateful for what they’ve been given.

Stephanie and Mark Esposito: My husband and I have learned that any lesson is better shown than spoken, so gratitude in our home starts with our posture as parents. It’s so much more powerful for them to see gratitude in our everyday attitudes and actions. More than anything, we want to teach them to show gratitude towards Christ, so we make sure prayer isn’t just a mealtime and bedtime practice. It happens in the car, at the playground, or wherever we are. We show them how to look for things we can thank God for, even in the moments when it might not feel obvious.


Terry and Ellen Bruce: Lately we’ve really been working with our children on developing their prayer lives. Every day, a different person “owns” the prayers when we sit down to eat together. We always start with saying thank you, but before we thank God for the food, we thank Him for something and someone we’re specifically grateful for that day. One of my kids is a natural prayer warrior, but the other two never wanted to pray out loud. Since we gave them these easy conversation starters to use when they talk to God, it’s been amazing to see them get excited when it’s their day to pray.


Table Talk I Week of November 9

Family life is busy, so being intentional with the time you do have is more important than ever. Table Talk helps mealtime matter — whether it’s at the soccer field, in the car, or around the table. Let this resource be a tool to connect your family and create faith-based conversations with your Quest and Motion children.

 


QUEST 

3 YEARS – KINDERGARTEN

This weekend, we learned “I can thank God for my friends.” David and Jonathan were the best of friends. Each one looked out for the other, and they loved to share with each other. We can thank God for the friends who help us, share with us, encourage us, and make us laugh. Check out this week’s curriculum recap here.

Question 1: Why were David and Jonathan thankful for each other? (They were good friends and promised to look out for each other.)
Question 2: Who is a friend you can thank God for? Why are you thankful for them?
Question 3: What makes someone a good friend? How can you be a good friend to others?

 


MOTION

1ST – 5TH GRADE

This weekend, we learned about setting aside quiet time to be with God. It’s hard to hear from God and grow in our relationship with Him when we’re surrounded by distractions, but setting aside time for silence and solitude helps us focus on God and hear what He has to say. Check out this week’s curriculum recap here.

Question 1: What are some things that distract you from spending time with God?
Question 2: How can you help yourself not become distracted by those things?
Question 3: When will you set aside time to pray and read your Bible?


Quest :: Week of November 9

Throughout the month, preschoolers will learn to be thankful for their family, friends, and food. They’ll learn that saying “thank you” is just as important as being thankful. Imagine preschoolers learning to tell God thank you — for EVERYTHING — all while having fun with their Group Leaders and friends. Imagine them growing up giving thanks to the Lord with their WHOLE heart.

This week, we learned about two best friends named David and Jonathan, who were so thankful for each other. We can be thankful for our friends, too!

This week, make some cookies with your family. As you bake, talk about your child’s friends. Next, either invite some of those friends over to play and eat the cookies, or deliver the cookies to them. It’s a great way to show your friends how thankful we are for them!


Safari :: Week of November 9

WE’RE LEARNING… I can thank God for everything.
MEMORY VERSE: “Always give thanks to God.” Ephesians 5:20 (NCV)
BIBLE STORY: Ten Lepers I Esther 1-10

During the worship experience this weekend, we sang a song to remind us that we can thank God for everything. Sing the song with your toddler at home!

If You’re Thankful and You Know It (to the tune, “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)

If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands! (clap, clap)
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands! (clap, clap)
If you’re thankful and you know it,
Giving thanks will surely show it.
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands! (clap, clap)

If you’re thankful and you know it, stomp your feet! (stomp, stomp)
If you’re thankful and you know it, stomp your feet! (stomp, stomp)
If you’re thankful and you know it,
Giving thanks will surely show it.
If you’re thankful and you know it, stomp your feet! (stomp, stomp)

If you’re thankful and you know it, shout “Hooray!” (“Hooray!”)

If you’re thankful and you know it, shout “Hooray!” (“Hooray!”)
If you’re thankful and you know it,
Giving thanks will surely show it.
If you’re thankful and you know it, shout “Hooray!” (“Hooray!”)

You can also put all three together for a fourth verse. (clap, clap, stomp, stomp, “Hooray!”)

Repeat a few times, or as long as your toddler is interested. Say, “Great job! Who can thank God for everything?” Encourage your toddler to say, “I can thank God for everything!”


Motion :: Week of November 9

It may not sound like fun to learn spiritual disciplines, but here’s the thing — spiritual disciplines aren’t boring. They’re vital, and we absolutely can’t survive this life without them. During this series, kids will learn that the spiritual disciplines of praying, solitude, reading the Bible, and asking questions are not chores on a to-do list, but life-saving survival skills!

This week, we tuned into the Loop Show and took a look at Luke 5:16, to learn about how important it is to turn off all distractions and have quiet time with God.

Jesus regularly made time to be alone so He could pray and meditate in stillness. Solitude and quiet helped Him hear God’s voice and remember God’s promises and commands to Him. Finding stillness, or quiet time with God, is a survival skill. We can’t have a thriving relationship with God if we never quiet ourselves to let Him speak.

At bedtime this week, read Luke 5:16 and pray together. Pray your child will set aside time to be quiet with God. Pray they’ll recognize the calmness and peace they can find when they set aside consistent quiet time to hear from God.

 Curriculum from Life.Church