3 Ways To Talk To Your Kids About Gratitude

Teaching gratitudeThis is the time of year when we are talking about gratitude.  Many take the gratitude challenge on their social media by sharing daily for what they are grateful.  Others, simply journal and some do nothing.  We know from various research studies that instilling gratitude within ourselves and our children can increases happiness, grant perspective, improve relationships and counteract the “I WANT IT”.

Most of us can agree that teaching our children to say “thank you” is important, but gratitude goes beyond manners. Gratitude is a way of life, with deeper meaning and understanding.

We all want our children to be happy and search for the silver lining in all circumstances.  We want healthy relationships and to have a deep appreciation of what we have versus thinking we NEED everything we see on television or in magazines.  I’m sure we can agree that none of us set out to raise “entitled” children.

These three tips  will help you to instill a TRUE attitude of gratitude in your children:

1. Share YOUR gratitude and share it often

Taking time each day to count your blessings is not just important for us as parents, but also our children.  Most of our five and six year old kids don’t have social media to create a status update to tell us for what they are grateful.  (at least I hope they don’t!)  Take time each day to share something for which you are thankful.  Maybe this is at dinner or at bedtime prayers, but share!  If you have tweens or teens, they may even enjoy keeping a written journal of their gratitude before bed.   During times of difficulty, negativity or sad times, taking a few extra minutes each day to focus on our blessings results in a pretty substantial attitude shift.

2. Avoid too much givingThankfulness scripture

As parents, we always want what is best for our children, but I’m not suggesting we refuse buying our children the essentials of life.  Instead, resist the temptation to buy your kids whatever they want, whenever they want it.  Doing so makes it hard for children to develop an appreciation and respect for their possessions.  They end up with too much stuff and lacking an appreciation for their toys or devices and are constantly setting their sights on the next shiny new object.  There is nothing wrong with asking children to help contribute to larger purchases, either!  Putting a little “skin in the game” helps to teach gratitude and appreciation.

3. Find the silver lining

Have you ever looked at a situation and felt defeated?  Well our children are no different! When faced with challenges or negativity, it is just as helpful to our children as it is to us!  Helping your children to look for the bright side will teach them the attitude of gratitude.  This is more about perspective than circumstance.

Remember that car driving slowly on your way to work when you’re already late?  ….to then drive by the police shooting radar, which would have SURELY resulted in a speeding ticket?  SILVER LINING!  It can be very easy to go to a place of pity.  By helping your children to find THEIR silver lining in time of distress we are giving them coping skills to feel happier and more successful.

Did you find these three tips helpful?  Grab your FREE additional tips for teaching gratitude here:How to teach your children Gratitude

Comment below to share how you instill a sense of gratitude with your children!  I’d love to hear from those with children already grown, too!  What has worked for you?

Erin Lewis holds both a bachelor and master’s degree in education and specializes in teaching others to be their best. As a busy wife and mom of three, she has a passion for transforming the way families define wellness. Using faith, food and fitness, Erin has helped hundreds of people push past their excuses to create the life they have always wanted to live. Erin is the author of Faith4Moms Devotions, creator of The Stress-Free Jumpstart to Meal Planning Success, a certified TurboKick® and PiYo Live® Pro Instructor, Diamond Team Beachbody Coach and Success Club Legend.

Sharpen Your Productivity Skills with Three Key Concepts

how to get motivatedI often have clients ask  me the secret to creating a REAL transformation.  The kind that lasts, not a short-term “quick fix”.   A true commitment to personal change requires three things:
1. Vision
2. PromiseHow to create a personal change
3. Energy

Vision – be open to imagining what your life WILL look like.  You must know WHY you want to achieve whatever you’re working towards.  If you want to lose weight, why?  What will your life look like when you lose the 15 or 20 pounds?  What will your life look like when you adopt a clean eating lifestyle?  A clear vision is what keeps you going when you want to give up or give in.

Promise -The promise you make is to yourself. I once heard someone say that it is comparable to writing check with your mind. The way you can then cash that check is with work.  Your promise is what helps you to craft SMART goals which will help you navigate the journey to your vision.   I always encourage my clients to share their promise with someone they love who will help to remind them of their vision.  This accountability partner is crucial when the “goin’ gets tough.”

Energy – WORK!  When you truly believe in something, when you are living your life with purpose, navigating towards your vision and using your promise to guide you, work is a good thing!  Work means throwing your focus at a task or project you believe in to create a transformation!  For my health coaching clients, this work often comes in the form of exercise, creating meal plans and learning to make healthier food choices.  Yes, this IS work, but YOU are worth the energy! 

When you combine a clear vision with a promise and the energy to achieve it, you have the power to create real personal change.  You can REALLY be productive and renew your mind, body and soul.

Romans 12:1-2 tells us “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”Biblical productivity tip

Do you have a vision and a promise?  …. are you willing to put in the WORK to achieve it?

How to Run With Your HEART When Your Body is Weary

Don’t Miss The Series:  read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3Part 4 | Part 5

How to run a marathon

Mile 21: Anything is possible if a person believes. Mark 9:23
Prayer: All the St. Jude Patients and Families
This organization is so amazing!  They not only fund research, but patients and their families do not pay at all for treatment.  St. Jude covers transportation and meals for the patient and one family member and even hosts proms, graduations and other milestone events.  It cost $885 million a year to run this facility.  While they do have corporate sponsors, the majority of the funRun as a St. Jude Heroding comes from donors — people like you and me!  St. Jude uses 81 cents of every dollar to fund research and treatments.  This is a very high amount — which means your donation dollars are well spent!  Please consider donating even just $1 to this amazing organization and please pray for these children and their families.

You can still DONATE to St. Jude via my St. Jude Hero fund!

Mile 22:B The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38
Prayer: Kim L.
I met Kim on Periscope!  Yes….I meet many people online!   Kim and her husband are in their sixties raising their grandson.  Kim is also a cancer survivor and has had thyroid issues.  We have a lot in common and she is a kind, loving spirit!  My prayers for Kim include staying encouraged when life gets tough.  Prayers for her family to have strength when they need it and energy!  I’m also thankful that I have had the opportunity to meet her!

Mile 23: I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize… Philippians 3:13
Prayer: IR4 Joshua
Many of you know I am part of Who I Run4 – an organization that matches runners with individuals with special needs.  IR4 Joshua, a kind young man with autism and social anxiety Running for your healthdisorder.  He is SO cool and funny and loving and does everything with his WHOLE HEART!  He is my biggest cheerleader and my best coach.  On mile 23 I’ll be thanking God for this amazingly perfect match and also praying that Joshua continues to PRESS ON!  We’re going to forget how far we’ve come and remember that we only have 3.2 miles before us in this race.  I’ll be thinking of his BIG smile and hearing him tell me something funny about Minecraft or some random math facts that confuse me 🙂  Press on Buddy!  #Buddies4Life

Mile 24: Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 4:17
Prayer: Brooke B.
I often work with students who are pursuing their dreams and goals.  Sometimes their pursuit leads to set backs and obstacles.  Many of them give up, sadly.  But Brooke keeps pressing on and doing things to set herself apart from others and reach her goal of becoming a PA.  I was actually Brooke’s Sunday School teacher for a few years.  I admire the determination of people who keep going even though they face a challenge.  

 Getting into PA school and finishing is just a small trouble right now, but it won’t last long!  the GLORY of finishing vastly outweighs the the present trouble and will last forever!!!  Prayers for Brooke as she applies to schools and goes through the acceptance process and then during school.  You can do this, Brooke!!!!

Mile 25: I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Prayer: Those struggling with Thyroid issues
There are too many people I love who face thyroid issues to name them all.  Thyroid disorders SUCK and they drain the life, energy and endurance out of us.  They confuse us.  They steal our memories.  They steal our joy if we let it.  But my prayer is that each of us remembers that God know the path for our life and will guide us.  He will watch over us and those who care for us.   I’ll be running in butterfly socks to symbolize those of us with thyroid struggles.  Its a gentle reminder for me to stay light on my feet and that we are all very fragile, but strong!  Fly on butterflies!  We have a great watchman.

Mile 26-26.2: 

Prayer: PRAISE!!!!
You know the feeling when you’re on you’re way home from vacation and that last mile seems so long?  This is mile 26 for me!  The fans are incredible.  The energy is intense.  ….and I’m always crying at this point.  The last 1.2 miles are nothing but praise and adoration for our God and King!  To know that we’ve made it this far, to know that HE carried us.  To know that we will succeed because our plans are for the Lord — THAT is just beyond words.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to speak, but God will know my heart and my thoughts!  PRAISE HIM!

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31