Besides saying grace at meals, how can I teach my child to be thankful?

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Thanks note. Photo copyrighted.

GRACE (a parent, asks): I've always been big on thanking God throughout the day for my husband, my children, my house, my strength. I exercise three times a week and even while I'm working out I thank God that my body can function as well as it does.

And when I pray with my four-year old daughter she hears me thank Him for things like that. But because she's only four, I still tend to do most of the leading in prayer time and I basically pray for her when she goes to bed. Sometimes I wonder if anything’s getting through.

KEVIN (Dr. Kevin Leman): Talk to any pastor about his congregation and he will probably tell you he wonders the same thing.

GRACE: Somebody just talked about trimming the Christmas tree, and that reminded me of last Christmas Day when we had finished opening our presents. Misty was playing with her new toys, and I said,

This is such a special day. I think we should pray. Misty, do you want to pray?

And Misty said,

Yep, I just want to thank Jesus for all the things we got for Christmas today

That was the best present I got for Christmas, because it showed me something is getting through, and I was so very thankful for that.

SALLY (a guest on the radio show): I think it is really wonderful when children “catch” you having devotional time with the Lord. It's important for them to see you with your Bible open on your lap. They need to come upon you when you're praying. Perhaps you can invite them to sit by you. Maybe they'll participate in the prayer and maybe they won't, but that's okay, because they have seen you talking to God. They sense your dependence on Him and your thankfulness to Him. That's how God becomes very real to them.

Author: Parent Talk by Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson of Family Life Communications

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