“So, kids, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?” you ask.
“My family, my house, my friends, my dog and Jesus.” (Same answers as last year….)
If you think your kids might be open to some deeper thinking this year, we’ve provided a handful of conversation starters about gratitude. We invite you try any or all of them and put a little bigger dose of gratitude in your Thanksgiving season:
- 1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
- What is something specific about God or a verse from the Bible that you are thankful for?
- Romans 1:20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities…
- What is your favorite part of God’s creation and what does it tell you about God?
- 1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
- Nearly 1/2 of the people in the world today live on less than $2.50 a day. $2.50 a day per person is barely enough for a one or two room house and simple food like rice and beans. Many of those people don’t have a home or enough to eat.
- We are blessed with many things. What food or object around the house is very special or meaningful for you that you are thankful for? Why is it special, or how does it bless you?
- James 1:7 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
- Is there something in our home that might seem like a “good gift” but could actually be harmful to us? (i.e. excessive luxuries, things that make us arrogant toward others, things we get really distracted by, etc.)
- Psalm 139:13,14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…
- What is something about the way your body works, or a physical ability you have, that you are thankful for? Has God used that ability to bless others?
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage and build up one another…
- What is something about our family that you really love and are thankful for?
- Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
- What have you experienced recently (or this year) that was challenging or difficult that really helped you to grow? How would you complete this sentence: I’m glad I went through ___________ because ____________________.
- Ephesians 2:10
- What is one way you bless others that you are thankful for? (i.e. I’m a good listener, I share toys well, I’m not afraid to talk to new people, etc). Parents can help kids identify these relational gifts with questions: “I noticed you _____________. What gift do you think you were using then? How were you blessed when you blessed that person? That’s something to be thankful for!!”
Teaching gratitude in a day when kids expect a fast, fun, and easy life can be a considerable challenge. So be intentional. Keep the conversation alive throughout the holiday season and beyond. Research shows your kids will be happier. And they’ll thank you for it!
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