Who says giving thanks is only for one day of the year? Thanksgiving is year-round in my household, where we make an effort to encourage gratitude every day. Giving thanks promotes good feelings like optimism, happiness, and overall wellbeing. It’s also an excellent way to strengthen your relationship with God, recognize blessings, and find inner peace. Practicing thankfulness is a powerful way to bring the family together and appreciate the little things in life. Make thankfulness a habit in your home with these simple tips.
Verbalize Thanks to Others
A lot of the time we feel thankful but don’t take the time to say it out loud. We take some things for granted or may believe that if something is someone’s responsibility – like taking out the trash – we don’t have to thank them for doing their job. Vocalizing your thanks when others around you do good things can help foster an environment of thanksgiving, and teach your kids to show gratitude for good deeds. For example, if your child remembers to close the door behind him/her, take a moment to say thank you. This can make your child more mindful of the things he or she does, as well as emphasize the importance of verbalizing thanks.
Keep a Blessings Journal
Journaling is on my list of 25 tips for mind, body, and spirit health for good reason. Keeping a journal is a great way to gather your thoughts, enjoy some alone time for self-reflection, and strengthen your spirituality. Keep a blessings journal and teach your children to do the same. Every day, as a family, take a few minutes to write down what you’re thankful for or the blessings you’ve received that day. Share your entry with the family or make it private – it’s up to you. Make it a family habit by buying your children special journals just for the occasion. They will come to think about their blessings journals as an exciting and fulfilling part of their day.
Explain the Importance of Giving Thanks
If your kids are as inquisitive as mine, you’ll probably get lots of questions about >why they should give thanks or practice daily thankfulness. A big part of the answer comes from Job 1:21: “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.” The blessings God bestows on us are not to be taken for granted – they can go as easily as they came. It’s important to offer up thanks to the Lord for all our blessings, big and small, and appreciate the good in our lives while it lasts. Giving thanks boosts spirituality and instills the knowledge in children that all things come from God, and it’s right to thank Him for what we have. Giving thanks makes for gracious children that recognize the many blessings in their lives.
Write Thank-You Letters
I’d like to believe that the art of the thank-you letter didn’t die with text messaging. I love sending out real, hand-written thank-you letters after my family receives a gift or act of kindness from someone. Make writing thank-you notes a family activity. Sit down with your children and help them write thank-you letters to teachers, religious leaders, siblings, family members, and friends. Thank them for saying nice things, giving gifts on holidays and birthdays, or for just being themselves. There’s always a reason to say thank you.
Giving thanks is more than a polite way to show gratitude. As part of a spiritual practice, thankfulness gives your family the ability to focus on blessings and find peace. Use these tips to make thankfulness a habit in your home. I guarantee you, you’ll notice a change in how your family thinks, acts, and feels.