Does it ever feel like you’re constantly telling your kids to stop complaining?
As a Christian parent, do you share Bible verses with your kids in the hopes that they will see how important it is to always be thankful and grateful and never grumble again . . . but it doesn’t seem to work?
Sometimes we can get caught up in saying the same thing over and over again then get frustrated when it seems that our tactics aren’t making a difference.
But the truth is, our words are making an impact—more than we think! Still, sometimes we need fresh ways to talk about being grateful to our kids. Ways that can help turn their thoughts away from themselves and call their blessings to mind.
Next time you’re talking about gratitude with your kids, try creating a conversation around the Bible verses you’re using, so they understand how Scripture relates to their lives.
Here are three examples of how this could look in your own home:
- Share a situation where you struggled to be grateful for something. Make it specific, not just a general statement. So rather than saying, “sometimes it’s hard for me to be thankful too,” use storytelling to relate to your child. “When I was eight, I got an Etch a Sketch for Christmas. But I was upset because what I really wanted was a Game Boy like my friend Brooke got from her parents . . .” Tell them how God provides for our needs and how we can praise Him for so many things. Then take a moment to praise God together!
- Talk about a possible situation your child might find themselves in where they are challenged to be thankful. This could be something simple for young kids, like not getting the pink princess crown they wanted from the school carnival (this was a real thing for our 5-year-old!), or something more complicated for older kids, like not getting picked to be on the soccer team. Bring in some Scripture here (I’ve got five ideas below) and coach them to name some blessings that God has brought into their lives.
- Talk about how to respond when they get a gift that they don’t really like (a creative way to do this might be to teach them to say “thank you so much for picking out such a special gift for me!” even if it’s not their favorite. When they write a thank you note, help them respond to the gratefulness of the action of the giver and tell the giver how they’ll use the gift. Sometimes simply helping our kids understand the purpose of gift-giving (an act meant to bless someone you love) can teach them an important lesson in thankfulness even if they would have preferred to receive something else.
Remember too, it’s okay if it takes your kids some time to actively be thankful! It’s a learning process, even for adults!
5 Bible Memory Verses for Kids About Gratitude
Psalm 57:9 (ESV)
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 100:4 (ESV)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.
Proverbs 17:22a (ESV)
A joyful heart is good medicine.
Download a printable of these 5 Bible Memory Verses About Gratitude.