How to Teach Gratitude to Your Children
According to Noah Webster: “To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”
As parents, we have an immense responsibility to educate our children.
No pressure, right?
Among the many unique aspects of homeschooling, families are blessed to spend much of their time together. A time to not only bond, but also to grow spiritually.
For better or for worse, as we parents go through the sanctification process, their eyes are on us. We’re living textbooks to them. So, when it comes to teaching children gratitude, it really starts with the parents.
Full Disclosure: I did receive a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Starting with Me
What if we ask ourselves how this looks “starting with me”? How am I at the outward expression of gratitude for others? How is this looking in my home? We’ve touched on the importance of self-government in our homes before by embracing our home mission as Christians. But have you ever counted the art of expressing gratitude as a part of individual self-government? . . .
Yet, despite our best attempts at modeling a heart of gratitude, at times a grumbling attitude surfaces.
A murmur of discontent here.
Perhaps an ever-so-small-complaint in a low voice said there.
Or maybe even in a quite audible complaint.
Not really a shining moment for any parent. But in order to understand the why, we need to check in with ourselves to find the root. In part, we sometimes need to seek out others who bear the fruit that we need to bear—to help us along.
1 Timothy 4:4 reminds us: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;” (NASB). In the biblical definition of gratitude, Noah Webster says: “The love of God is the sublimest gratitude.” If we’re to express genuine gratitude, it must flow out of our love of God. However, sometimes this may be a struggle and we need to admit when we feel like we’re struggling spiritually.
Finding the Fruit of Gratitude
Do you ever feel like you’re alone in the spiritual struggle of defeating a grumbling attitude?
Maybe you don’t.
Grumbling from other parents is a dime a dozen. Unfortunately. (And how unfortunate when we add to it.)
Perhaps the better question is: do you feel like you’re alone in finding others to be around who freely express gratitude in abundance?
Sometimes, encouragement and edification along this journey of sanctification and parenting doesn’t come from our circle of friends. (Did you catch that? Sanctification and parenting—they go hand-in-hand, don’t they?)
If our friends are in the same season of grumbling, how is it possible to cure grumbling if we share in it? We really don’t need to be feeding the lump with that sort of leaven.
There are times, I have found, when encouragement, edification, and mentoring are given in words across the pages of a book. Like a letter written from a newly found friend, books can be there in a timely manner for the season in which we find ourselves. Hint: In this book, Tricia Goyer is like that newly found friend. Through her book, Tricia mentors you in how to teach gratitude to your children.
How to Teach Your Children Gratitude
Tricia Goyer and her family—consisting of her husband John, ten children, and her eighty-eight-year-old grandmother with dementia—set out to attempt what seems to be the impossible. What is this mission? It’s to live a grumble-free year.
A grumble-free year? Yes!
Rarely do I do book reviews and it has been some time since choosing to be on a launch team. But I had a feeling that, via the The Grumble-Free Year book at least, Tricia Goyer and I would be kindred spirits in many ways.
Principle Approach® parents will appreciate The Grumble-Free Year. With transparency, humor, and some relatable things, Tricia Goyer mentors on this topic in these ways:
- The need for parents to begin with themselves (the individual),
- Thinking internal-to-external (addressing the heart and outward expression),
- Shares how she helps her children see the cause-to-effect of their attitudes,
- Touches on an important word study of the word grumble,
- Offers reflection questions,
- Candidly shares her family’s experience (what she found works and doesn’t work).
How the Book is Divided
Part one draws the reader in with the background and family dynamics.
In part two, the challenge begins and she breaks down what it looks like to begin discipling her children in the principle of gratitude. And in doing this, she discovers the why behind their grumbling. Of course, this looks different for each individual family member. That said, it’s helpful to the reader because one isn’t left trying to piece the details together of how this may look.
She also shares some creative ideas for how to help one’s family form the good habit of gratitude. I love how these activities incorporate the family as a whole.
Lest you think things go 100% smoothly for their family, it doesn’t. Let me guarantee you that she doesn’t put on a facade that things are all fine and dandy. What goes wrong? And how do each of them respond to unexpected life events when they’re challenged to either grumble or express gratitude? I can’t tell you! You’ll have to read it for yourself. Know this: she is faithful in encouragement and pointing the reader back to God for strength.
And in part three, she winds things down—encouraging the reader to run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Is The Grumble-Free Year a Book for You?
Answering these following questions may help you decide:
- Is grumbling a habit among any of our family members?
- Does gratitude pour out from our family members?
- Am I looking for encouragement by the testimony of family in Christ?
- Could I benefit from someone’s wisdom and transparency?
- Is this an area which I’d like myself and my family to grow?
Delightful, relatable and truthful, homeschooling mom Trica Goyer invites you along her journey to help you along yours.
Grab your copy of The Grumble-Free Year here!
Follow Tricia Goyer on Social Media and keep in touch with her!
Here’s the link to her Facebook account.
This is the link to her Twitter account.
And this is the link to her Instagram account.