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How Do You Help Children Learn to be Really Thankful?

Child Development / Leadership //

While we like to think we are thankful people, most of us do not actually live like we are thankful. Oh, yes, we talk about being thankful; especially in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, and when we pray we typically thank God for something, but are we truly thankful people? Consider the following questions . . .

  • When we pray do we spend the most time asking God for things or thanking and praising Him?
  • When we talk about “thanking God”, are we typically thankful for things which are “good”?
  • Do we genuinely thank God for things which are not “good”?
  • Do our lives show a thankful spirit or do the reflect the “consumerism” of the world around us?
  • When God answers our prayers, is our first response one of giving genuine thanks to Him?
These are just a few questions, but the point is, are we truly thankful people? Are our lives so busy we do not take the time to be genuinely thankful? If we are actually honest, do we sound and look more like unthankful children who always ask for more?
If we are not genuinely thankful people, all year long, not just at Thanksgiving, how can we even begin to help the children in our ministries learn to be truly thankful people? So, how can we be people who focus on being thankful and who help children learn to be this kind of person, too? Consider the following ideas . . .
  • Focus on beginning each day by thanking God for the day before us and for whatever it holds.
  • Focus on spending more of our time in prayer thanking God than we spend on asking Him for things.
  • Model being thankful by beginning each class or opportunity to teach children with thanking God for the previous week, specific answers to prayer and even for difficult things in our lives.
While we may sound thankful in the month of November, if we are genuinely thankful people it will show in our lives all year. What do you do to focus on being thankful and how do you help the children in your ministry learn to be genuinely thankful people?

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About the Author

Lynda Freeman has 40+ years of experience working in Children's Ministry. She has served a children's director for churches of 1600 people - as well as in churches of 100 people. Lynda has been a consultant for Gospel Light, Group  and ZonderKidz/Big Idea, ZonderKidz/Promiseland. Currently she is known for her reviews of curriculum and church resources, she writes kidz Connection curriculum and her other blog, grandma's cookie jar!