Every evening, either my husband or I lay down with our three year old Noelle to say bedtime prayers. Every night I ask her what she’s thankful for. Every night she just says says “Jesus.”
Now props to her because she’s right. We often use the phrase “but most of all we’re thankful for Jesus” at prayer time so clearly we’ve done a good job with that one.
Yet I want her to learn the beautiful art of counting gifts, of seeing her Father God everywhere she goes. But how to drive the point home?
The bible teaches us over and over again that Jesus taught on the fly, he walked and talked and did life with his disciples and used every day stuff as object lessons.
Cue lightbulb Now.
If I want to teach my young ones what thankfulness truly is I need to walk it with them, I need to point out how much I’m loving the fall colors or the crunch of an apple in the moment.
Something along the lines of: “Hey guys, see those leaves that used to be green but now they’re orange? Well God is making the seasons change and fall is my favorite season, so I’m very thankful to him for that.”
The more I parent the more I realize that almost all of it is small, sometimes frustrating steps.
Teaching looks a lot like disciplining and that means real life chats and repetition and repetition and… you get the idea. It’s starting to looking like actually explaining my spiritual heart out loud in a way a three year old can grab on to.
But isn’t that the kind of legacy we are all looking to leave them?
“Repeat them (bible verses) again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
So as we enter into a season of thankfulness, keep this small, everyday in mind when it comes to younger kids. We will be doing our best to help you out by writing about Giving thanks each Friday of the month.
Stay tuned and Hey, what’s your secret for sharing thankfulness with your tots?