Looking for creative ways for your children to express their gratitude to others? Showing gratitude is a great way for us to show others God’s love and ours. Your children can verbalize their appreciation or write a note, but sometimes it’s fun to get a little creative when you thank someone.
The next time your children want to show someone their appreciation, try having fun with one of these ideas:
After “dada” and “mama”, my daughter’s first two words were “peas” and “tanks”. We believed it was important to teach our daughter to be polite, considerate and appreciative as early as we possibly could. Fast forward sixteen years later and our daughter has become the polite, considerate, gracious young woman we hoped to raise. She will fight to the bitter end for God and what she believes is right, but her spirit is gracious.
Why was it so important to us that she be taught to be grateful? The Bible mentions the word “thanks” dozens of times. Almost all of them have the word “give” before it, as in “give thanks.” It only makes sense God as the Creator, would want His creation to be grateful. Not only for being created, but also for all of the other many blessings God provides for us on a regular basis.
Have you ever attempted to go through a store door with your arms overflowing with a baby, your diaper bag and several shopping parcels, only to have the person in front of you let the door shut in your face? Ever been sick and tried to sleep when suddenly it sounds like the circus has come to your living room?
Putting someone else’s interests before your own is not just good manners, it is consideration. In fact the Apostle Paul writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourself.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)
Being considerate of others is tough. Satan makes sure we understand how annoying it will be to put the interests of the other person before our own. And the payback is minimal at best (Satan would continue.). There are no “Considerate Person of the Year” awards. People will rarely jump up and down because you were considerate. There are no ticker tape parades for considerate people.
Recently, I was privileged to hear Malcolm Gladwell speak about his new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. (I admit, everyone in the audience got a free copy of the book after his speech, but it doesn’t change my opinion of the book!) Now, I have heard the story of David and Goliath so many times, I feel like I may know them personally. Mr. Gladwell shared some insight into the story though, I had never heard before.
After doing some extensive research into battle tactics and weaponry of the time and the potential health issues of Goliath, Mr. Gladwell came to an interesting conclusion. David wasn’t as much of an underdog as we portray him, but that does not lessen God’s role in the story or our dependence on God. Rather it demonstrates how God can equip us to slay our “giants” by giving us talents and opportunities that make these supposed giants not so giant after all.
My family is always amazed at some of the movies our daughter’s friends have been allowed to watch. From pre-school on, some of these children have been regularly exposed to movies rated “PG”, “PG-13” and even some “R” rated movies. The parents are either unconcerned or exposed the child to the movie themselves.
The conversations I have with some of these parents intrigue me. The parent begins talking about a disturbing movie they just watched with their young child in the room. The conversation switches topics and usually within ten minutes, the same parent is expressing concern and wonderment about their child, who is “suddenly” having a lot of nightmares or acting out in other ways.
I know many of these same parents believe our family is over-reacting to movies with mature themes or more adult ratings. We are viewed by many as naive or over-protective. So, out of fairness, I reviewed the academic research on children and how their behaviors are affected by what they view. I expected to find mixed study results, as often happens when various studies focus on a particular topic.