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Take Your Life in Christ to New Heights!
by David Swihart In the midst of this materialistic society, parents often see in their children a lack of appreciation for what they have. Here are ten ideas that can help your children become more thankful people. 1. Begin to model an attitude that says, "This thing isn't mine, it belongs to God and he is letting me use it right now." With this attitude, you can begin to convey not only that God is the creator and owner of everything, but also that we are entrusted with caring for God's possessions. 2. Limit the number of things you give to your children. If you are constantly giving things to them, they lose their appreciation for a gift when the next one comes along. Instead of having one prized possession, they will simply have lots of stuff to occupy them. Over time, this breeds a lack of appreciation for things. In short, you spoil your child. 3. Don't make giving toys or presents the primary way of showing love in your family. Love is a spiritual act, and is best communicated through speech, touch, facial expressions and attitudes. 4. Take time regularly to be thankful and to give thanks together. Let your children see you telling them and others, "thank you". 5. During family prayer time, go around the circle and have each family member tell God "thank you" for something. 6. Plan family activities that involve ministering to other people. Through this a child can see how blessing others produces thankfulness. 7. Incorporate into discipline the removal of certain things and activities your child likes but may take for granted. This will give the opportunity to "miss" it, increasing his appreciation for having it. 8. Acknowledge when your child says, "thank you" by looking at him or her, smiling and clearly saying, "you're welcome'. Let them know how it makes you happy to hear them saying, "thank you". 9. As your children grow old enough to comprehend it, make clear distinctions between "rights" and "privileges", first in your own life and, by application, in theirs. A good example for adults is having a driver's license. 10. Over time, make the connection for your children between thankfulness and worship so that they can truly grow to worship the Lord out of a thankful heart.
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