Teaching Kids Thankfulness

 Teaching Kids
~ Thankfulness ~

Yell at your dog much? A Lesson on Thankfulness


Have YOU yelled at your dog lately ?!?


It all started today with yelling at my dog, some fleas, cold coffee, and some dust bunnies.
What does that have to do with teaching your kids about thankfulness ???
Here’s what’s floating around my mind (other than aforementioned, dust bunnies ūüėÄ

But not in the

kind of way,
  more in the
stop-and-open-my-eyes-and-actually-SEE-life-all-around-me-and-be-thankful” kind of way.

Gratitude takes a special kind of seeing some days.
Sight, past the obvious.

My recent version of obvious…
I wake up. I make coffee. I Iet the dog outside.
I see the obvious.
I see my grass needs to be mowed.  I see the weeds overtaking my garden.
I see my fence needs repair. ¬†It’s raining.
I quickly close the door.
The dog brings half the back yard in on his feet;  I see mopping all the floors in my future.

I try again.
I mean it’s almost Thanksgiving. ¬†I have to be grateful.
I need to finish my list of things I’m thankful for.
I need to make my kids finish their lists of things they’re thankful for.
I need to… err… you get the idea.

And again.

I curl up in my favorite chair.  I start to read.
I’m distracted. ¬†The house is too quiet.
I see the obvious everywhere.
I see a dog hair dust bunny the size of Texas floating across the floor.
I see the dirty dishes that need to be done.
I see that by next year this time, my house will be quiet like this all the time… empty of kids and all the noise and motion that comes along with them.
Sheesh. ¬†The dog wants to go out again…and this time he
brings back in the other half of the backyard on his feet.
Now my cup of coffee is cold. ¬†And it’s time to finish a math lesson. ¬†Now my list won’t get done. ¬†I didn’t get my “quiet time” “done” either. ¬†¬†

And so I lose it.

I yell at the dog.
I blame the whole list of what’s not going right in my world squarely on him right down to the cold coffee. ¬†
He looks really confused and kind of scared.
Poor pooch.

And the kids hear me too.
That completely blows the gratitude lesson I did with them earlier in the morning.
< Thoughtful Gratitude Builders >

Ummm  yeah.  And then I get it.
It’s MY attitude that needs a major overhaul.
“They” say we teach most powerfully by our example.

Have you ever had a day (or a string of days) like this ?!?

Some days  Every day, I need to just stop for a moment,
take a deep breath, open my eyes, open my heart,
and really SEE life…life past the “obvious” that an overtired heart sees.

There is beauty everywhere to be thankful for.
There is good even in the worst situations.
There is laughter even at the saddest moments.
It’s all about seeing past the obvious.

I’m practicing.
And my dog is grateful.

Years ago, I read a story to my children,¬†taken from Corrie Ten Boom’s book ‘The Hiding Place’. ¬† ¬†It is¬†called “Thank You, God, for the Fleas!“.
I don’t know if they remember it or not, but I have never forgotten it.

All these lessons & stories are so good, but can we (I) truly teach our children to grow a thankful heart if we aren’t tending our own hearts and training them toward gratefulness ?
I hope we can somehow all be encouragers of thanksgiving along the way, as fully as Betsie was for Corrie.

I am giving thanks today for all of you mamas out there who are giving your all to raise your sons and daughters to change the world by their love and light!!

Teaching kids ourselves thankfulness takes a whole lot of effort some days.
But it is all well worth the return!
For which my dog is abundantly grateful. ¬† ¬†ūüôā

My Dog and a lesson on Thankfulness



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