Being grateful is something that does not come naturally to us as humans. Especially in America it seems as if the idea of being thankful is a foreign concept to many. I think perhaps because we are growing up more and more with the idea that we deserve everything given to us. Living in a land of wants with no needs has a tendancy to suck out all thoughts of gratitude from our minds.
There are times when I struggle and I struggle deep. During these times I feel as if I have nothing to motivate me. I am not inspired by much and my thoughts tend to be dark. A couple of years ago when I was messing around with one of these times I feel across Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experince. I started a journey of "One Thousand Gifts". I have found that taking time each day to find something I am thankful for has opened my mind to possibilities that I wouldn't see if I just sat in my dark places.
I have been asked how I teach gratefulness to my girls. The idea of teaching them to be thankful seemed strange to me. For my girls it seems to come natural, but at times I have noticed that they can show a very ungrateful attitude. It's frustrating when we see this with our children. Why can't they just be thankful? Don't they realize how good they have it? Don't they understand that there are so many kids out there who wish they had these things? But the reality is...they don't?
Our kids only see what we show them. They only know what's around them. What we share with them is what they will understand. One large way that we help out children understand the idea of being grateful is by sharing others stories and talking about what we are thankful for in our lives. With this in mind we have started a family gratitude journal. It sits open on our table and anyone can write it in. I have encouraged the girls to write at least one a day. They younger ones will tell me and I will write it for them. But this gives them daily practice in being grateful. Something I can't complain about.
If you are interested in learning more about making a family gratefulness journal or want to start off with one just for you please visit Ann's blog here. One her blog you can find the download for the printable that you can decorate your own with or just fill it with your own doodles or stickers. Start today on having a more grateful attitude! Sometimes all it take for children to be more grateful is to see their parents being grateful.