News From Kyle

NEWS FROM KYLE

Gratitude isnt an inherent emotion. Gratitude is learned. Theres no better person to teach a kid about how to be grateful for what they have than the most influential person in their life, and thats you. So, here are some ways to model gratitude to your kids:

1. Be vocal about the things you are grateful for.

Kids are always listening even when you dont think they are. Youve probably experienced this firsthand when your kid repeated something they overheard when you really wish they hadnt. So, give them some good things to listen to. Pause throughout the day and let your kids hear you share what youre thankful for at that moment. It can go something like, Do you want to know what Im thankful for right now? Im thankful were all sitting around this table together at dinnertime.” Or I am so grateful for this warm cup of coffee this morning.” Or I am so glad I get a chance to rest my body. I worked hard today.” Nothing is too small to celebrate—in fact, the smaller the gratitude, the more lasting impression.

2. Make sure your family knows youre grateful for what they do.

Theres a loosely-translated Andy Stanley quote that says something to the effect of, Unexpressed gratitude feels like ingratitude.” We dont have to tell you how true of a statement that is because youre likely living some form of it every day. The saying, More is caught than taught” applies so well here: If your kids hear you saying thank you” often, theyll likely start seeing moments of gratitude in their own lives and start expressing it too.

3. Create a habit of serving others together.

Its easy to only look inward all the time, especially with so much going on at home. But nothing shifts perspective quite like helping others. Your kids need to have their worldview expanded because truly seeing others and what they experience increases empathy. So, make sure to nurture the spirit of service in your kids and add opportunities to serve into your familys daily, weekly, or monthly rhythm. You can make homeless kits with the essentials in them to pass out, return shopping carts inside the store, or pick up trash at your local park. Anything goes.

4. Use key moments in your familys rhythm for gratitude check-ins.

There are natural rhythms in your day when you can talk with your kids—morning time, drive time, mealtime, and bedtime. Make a daily habit of using one—or more!—of those times when everyone says at least one thing theyre grateful for. Encourage your kids that there is nothing too big or too small to share—it all counts. Set a reminder in your phone so you dont forget this small yet impactful practice of gratitude.

--Kyle Orick - Student Pastor