Days when I’m worn out and tempted to grumble about it.
Days when traffic makes me want to vent.
Days when I don’t feel like doing laundry or dishes or mothering.
If only I could wear a sign on my forehead that says, “Mom’s positive attitude is taking the day off. Check back tomorrow.”
But the reality is being an example to my kids is a task that never ends. Whether they realize it or not, they mirror my tone and attitude. My choices are displayed in the very lives I’m trying to raise and mold.
I can’t just talk about thankfulness—I need to live it out.
As we celebrate this season of gratitude with our families, here are some ways we can nurture thankfulness in our hearts…and ultimately train our children to see the good in their own lives.
Read a psalm each day
The book of Psalms in the Bible is full of words of praise and gratitude. Read one each day in your own quiet time and pray it as a prayer of thanks. You could read it again with your family at the dinner table and demonstrate to your kids the value of praying Scripture.
Start and end your day with a gratitude list
When you wake up in the morning, write down a few things you’re thankful for. Repeat this again when you go to bed at night. This trains you to start your morning with gratitude and then seek out opportunities to be thankful throughout the day.
You could make this a family activity by putting a gratitude jar in the middle of your kitchen table. Family members can write one or two things they’re thankful for at breakfast and again after work or school. During supper, read the notes together. You might even create a guessing game to see who wrote each item.
Fill your day with prayers of praise
No matter where you go, use your eyes as a prompt to be thankful. The walls of your home can prompt a prayer of praise for shelter. A full pantry is a reason to praise God for His provision. Your kids’ messy closets mean you can be thankful that your family has more than you need.
As you build the habit of one-sentence prayers of praise, start including your kids in the fun. You could do a “praise walk” through your home or neighborhood or make it a game as you’re driving from one place to the next.
Be honest about your hard days and choose to see the good
Not every day is going to full of happy, perfect moments. When hard days come, be honest with God about how you’re feeling. Then ask Him to show you the good things He’s provided.
This principle can be carried over to your relationships with your kids too. For example, if you’re running on four hours of sleep, you could tell them, “Mom is really exhausted today, and I might get upset more than usual. Can you help me think of things to be thankful for? That would help all of us have a better day together.”
Like it or not, mamas, we set the tone in our homes. By nurturing gratitude in our own heart, we teach our kids to value thankfulness and ultimately guide them to Jesus. Stay the course and keep praising!
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath! Psalm 104:33, NLT
Let’s talk! How do you practice thankfulness in your own life? What creative ways do you instill gratitude in your kids?