How often does thankfulness cross your mind and heart apart from the Thanksgiving holiday? It takes effort to be thankful. It is not a natural human thought. Humans are selfish by nature and to be thankful means we must look beyond ourselves, especially as we a grateful leader.
Raising children with an attitude of gratitude doesn’t happen overnight. It begins when your child enters the world and start learning from you.
As homeschool parents we have been given the responsibility to raise, nurture and love our children, but also to educate them. It is all intertwined. Most of the time you cannot and should not separate them.
Parenting + Homeschooling = Everyday life
As my children entered the teen years, I started thinking of myself as a mom who was raising a grateful leader. Soon my children, one by one, would leave our home. My prayer was that they would leave know Christ personally, equipped with the leadership skills learned and the gifts and talents given to them by God to change their world.
I was raising four leaders and I would help change the world for the better, one child at a time. What an awesome responsibility, and one that I was so very grateful and honored to have been given.
The list is long when writing the traits of a Godly leader. But the one I want to concentrate on right now is gratefulness. Are you… is your teen one that is thankful? Do you take the time to see the blessings that you have been given?
“Biblical leaders are thankful leaders! It is a part of who they are, how they lead and how they live.”David Roth
Great leaders lead by example.
Leadership begins on the inside.
Does your teen possess the leadership skill of thankfulness? If not, will you help them develop that being a grateful leader?
Most teens are able to understand the concept of being thankful and can grasp the fact that thankful people are happier people and more pleasant to be around. They attract others to them.
Grateful Leader Activity
Below is an activity to help you as you teach your teens one of the important characteristics of a great leader, thankfulness.
You can make this activity as basic or as in-depth as you’d like.
Take out a piece of notebook paper and start making a list.
How many grateful leaders do they know? (They may choose to separate these into two different groups.)
- Those that they know of, but don’t have a personal relationship with
- Those that they personally know.
Next to those names list how they lead.
Examples: Youth leaders provide, guidance, friendship, teaching, etc. Coaches lead by example by giving up their time to teach through their experience and knowledge.
This next part is the most important part of the grateful leader activity
What can you learn about thankfulness and emulate from the leaders you listed?
- Are they thankful leaders? How can you tell?
- What can you see in their lives that draw you to them?
- What makes them a leader worth following?
- What would you do differently?
- How can their examples make you a better leader?
Some of these answers will not be related directly to thankfulness, but more to leadership skills. If your teen sees leadership traits in those they listed that are not related to thankfulness, great, discuss what they see!
Here are a several reasons that you may use as you discuss thankfulness and why it should be a part of leadership.
- It motivates those you lead. Everyone wants to be thanked for their work and efforts
- Being a grateful leader is about those you serve not you. Thank those you lead for their contribution.
- Whenever someone follows your leadership, they have chosen to do so. And you need to be thankful for that decision.
- We are not entitled to anything. Whenever someone follows your leadership, they have chosen to do so.
A great deal can be learned by observing and listening. As you talk with your teen about thankful leaders, their examples to others around them as they live, work and serve others, remind them to thank God for these people that He has placed in their lives to learn from.
My challenge to you as a parent of a teen is to help them find ways to make thankfulness a basic part of who they are and how they lead. Remember it begins with you! It takes effort to be thankful.
Thankfulness should be a daily attitude. Come back a in February and remind yourself.
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I look forward to connecting with you soon!
Enjoying the journey,
Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife of 32years, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four amazing children and five adorable grandchildren. Three of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own businesses and doing quite well. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one on one, social media and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams
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