I’d like to introduce you to my friend Debbie Taylor Williams. You will be blessed by her wise words and ways(and so will your kids and grands).
Ways to Gift a Mind and Heart of Gratitude to You and Your Children
Debbie Taylor Williams
My husband, Keith, and I love babysitting our grandchildren.
Several years ago, I showed our two year old, Logan, how to form red Play-Doh into the shape of a smile. I placed it against my lips and said, “Smile.” Logan smiled. Then, we divided the blue Play-Doh in half and made two balls for eyes. Holding the balls up to his blue eyes, he said, “eye.” I thought we were doing a great job with our arts-and-crafts/vocabulary lesson. Then Keith walked in, saw what we were doing, and joined the fun. Except he took the red Play-Doh smile, hung it from his nose, and with a big laugh, said “Kachoo!” I probably don’t need to tell you what happened next. Logan put it to his nose, said, “Kachoo,” and cracked up laughing.
If what we taught our children were limited to Play-Doh, everything might be okay. We might simply laugh about what they learn through our play times. However, children learn more than silly antics by watching us. Among the many life skills, they learn to have a negative attitude or a heart of gratitude. How can we help our children develop a heart of gratitude?
Begin the Day in Gratitude for Who God Is
One way we can train our children to begin their day with optimism is by focusing on the gift of God’s presence in our lives. Nothing else may seem to be going well, but we always have God. Establish a morning routine of opening your Bible and focusing on who God is. You or your child record His name or character trait in a journal. Close in prayer expressing gratitude to God for who He is. Your journal might look like this from the Month At A Glance section of Prayers of My Heart prayer journal
End the Day with Thanksgiving
It’s easy to fall in bed at night with worrisome thoughts. A parent may wonder how they’ll accomplish their “to do” list or wonder if their child will sleep through the night. A child may wonder if their friends will include them during recess or if they’ll do well on a test.
Establish an evening routine of writing three things for which you’re thankful. Make this a part of your child’s nightly routine. If they can write, let them journal their gratitude in a journal and close in a prayer of thanksgiving. If not, record their thanksgiving for them. They may be thankful for the trip to the park, the ice cream treat, or for you! Your journal might look life the following.
Studies show that people who keep a gratitude journal are more optimistic about life than those who don’t. Give your children the gift of an attitude of gratitude. Model journaling your praise and thanksgiving and teach them to do the same.
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how journaling your daily gratitude in the mornings for who God is and your thanksgiving at night is positively impacting you and your children.
Debbie Taylor Williams is passionate about helping other learn to look up in praise. She’s the founder of P.R.A.Y. with Passion Across the Nation Conference and “365 Days of Praise.” She’s written 7 books including her latest release of Prayers of My Heart prayer journal. Discover 7 Benefits of Journaling, Journaling Tips, or watch her Facebook Live to learn how to join the #AttitudeOfGratitude movement.
Debbie’s prayer journal is endorsed by Beth Moore. “I love this approach to daily prayer.” Beth Moore. Click here to head to Amazon.
You can also find Debbie on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Vimeo.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.