Growing Gratitude: 3 Practices
plus a my FREE gratitude guide is back!
Is there anything so melodious as the sound of the unprompted "Thank you" from the lips of our kid? Any time it happens, my heart flutters.
But it often isn't said. Because real kids who aren't robots neither feel nor express gratitude each and every time they could.
And you know what? Neither do I. So I practice, and I help my kids practice.
One key thing about gratitude is that it's a secondary response. We feel it only once we've developed practices that helps us be aware of what to be grateful for.
In other words, grateful people tune themselves into good things, big and small, and allow thankfulness to flow from them in response.
So when we want to be a family that is growing in gratitude, here are 3 practices that can help us--kids and adults alike:
(1) The practice of noticing goodness.
Simply name good things as you experience them. You might write them, share them at meal or bedtime, take pictures with your phone, or silently say them in your own mind. However you go about it, noticing goodness cultivates gratitude.
(2) The practice of expressing gratitude for others.
We say "I'm thankful for you," and "Thank you for..." to the people around us. List the people for whom you are thankful, and actually tell them so in a text, a note, or even real mail. The key here is to say the words.
(3) The practice of finding something good in hard times. In the midst of difficult experiences, is there also something to also be grateful for? This is not a practice that dismisses or ignores painful things, but that looks for one good thing in the midst of them. Practice living in the tension of "both being true" by naming the hard and the good.
Want an intentional way to try these practices out with your kids? I wrote a Family Gratitude Journey Guide just for you!
It's intentionally simple:
3 10-minute Family Chats, one for each practice.
Each Family Chat focuses on just one Bible verse and has just one activity option.
The Gratitude Journey also includes:
A planning guide to help you get this journey on your calendar.
Beautiful printable Bible Verse Cards designed by Jenny Metcher (@TheLetteringJenny). (The picture is one of them!)
BONUS printable: 12 fun Thanksgiving Conversation Starters kids can really answer.
The Family Gratitude Journey Guide is FREE and just for Substack subscribers, because, well, I'm grateful for you. How cool is it to be together in helping point our kids to the God of all good things? Thankful is truly the best word for how I feel.
Growing gratitude, bit by bit.
Let’s do this, Meredith
May the God who went first in making all things good fill you with hope and gratitude over the little good things around you today. Amen.