How to Teach A Thankful Heart

Free Olympics Activity Guide for Kids

Ready or not, Thanksgiving, along with the rest of the holiday season, is right around the corner my friend. It seems like just yesterday the pumpkins, turkeys, trees, and lights were all put away, yet here we are, digging them all right out again. And right along with them, we have all the lessons of the season including gratitude, a thankful heart, and a giving spirit.

How to Teach A Thankful Heart

These are good things to teach our kids. Lessons we often start early, but unless we do the most important thing of all, these lessons may not stick.

What do I mean? It’s simply this… if we want our children to be thankful, then we need to do more than just teach it. We need to model it. 

Making Changes Ourselves

We’ve all seen it. The child who doesn’t get the toy they desperately wanted or the person upset that the cranberry sauce is NOT homemade.

We’ve all felt it. The disappointment of being too late for the big sale or the internal sting when we aren’t chosen for something we really wanted.

And while we work really hard to teach our kids gratitude, how to use their manners, how to not complain if the mashed potatoes are lumpy, and why it doesn’t truly matter who sits beside them at the big holiday meal, these lessons only go so far when we ourselves are struggling.

Character Traits Are More Than Lessons To Be Learned

I know you mean well. I know you try so hard.

And yet, somewhere among all of the fun, creative printables, the well-rehearsed lessons, and the heart-felt devotionals, your own mama heart gets broken in a million different ways. You, too, feel the pull to make it all perfect, and perhaps even sigh at the gravy, wishing you could have made it.

Yet these are the moments, mama. These are the moments where we can do more than teach our children how to have a grateful heart, but show them.

These are the times we can hug our relatives and mean it. Thank our neighbors for the wreath and see the effort they put in. And pause to embrace the crooked ornaments because while we’d prefer them to be straight, our darling children hung them with love and care.

We can be grateful for family around the table, even if our family perhaps offers some challenging moments.

We can be thankful for holiday gatherings, events, and traditions, even if our calendars are as stuffed as the Thanksgiving turkey.

And we can remember to simply be the light this holiday season, reflecting the One whose light shines the brightest.

How to Teach A Thankful Heart

Modeling Thankfulness For Your Family This Holiday Season

Regardless of how you have lived for the past 10 months you, my friend, you can calm your mama heart and begin modeling thankfulness for your family right now.

You see, thankfulness first starts with a decision, a heart’s desire to live out a life filled with gratitude. As with any tall order, you should start with both decision and determination, but also with a heart-felt prayer because as I was reminded recently, faith and prayer are the foundation of any good habit.

With a decision firmly made, and a commitment, begin working on scripture memorization. To help get you started, I have created a free printable with some of my favorite scriptures. My hope is that they help you this holiday season, and well into the new year, as you begin cultivating a life and heart that is rooted in truth, gratitude, and thanksgiving, traits you can pass to your children while you hand them gravy with a smile, encouraging them to be thankful for all the blessings in their lives.

You can get the Cultivating A Thankful Heart, Scripture Memorization by leaving your name & email. We’ll zip it on over to your inbox.

Kelly Warner is a homeschooling mama who lives in Maine with her husband and their four children, the oldest of whom is a homeschool graduate. She is a veteran homeschooler who is passionate about helping homeschooling simplify their life and find hope in the chaos that often comes along with raising a family.

You can follow Kelly online at her website, Hope In The Chaos, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and in her private Facebook Community.

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