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.