A Good Way to End the Day
Start a new habit. Every night before bed, ask your child, “What are three things you are thankful for?” If your child is reluctant to share or has trouble thinking of something, share your three things first. It doesn’t have to be material things. You could share good things that happened, things you learned from the Bible, people who helped you, or spiritual blessings.
Modeling thankfulness for children helps guide them on the journey to contentment. Paul understood this and modeled the practice of gratitude well. We must follow his example to choose a thankful spirit even in a hard time.
We use post-it notes to help us remember things. Did you know the idea for the post-it note was thought of in church? In 1974, a man named Arthur Fry was singing in his church choir. He couldn’t remember all the page numbers for the songs they were going to sing, so he used little pieces of paper to mark the pages. But the pieces of paper kept falling out.
Mr. Fry was a scientist at 3M Company, and he remembered that four years earlier another scientist, Spencer Silver, made a super weak glue. The glue stuck to objects, but could easily be lifted off. Mr. Fry used some of Mr. Silver’s glue on his little pieces of paper, and it worked! The glue held the papers in place, but came off easily without tearing the pages. Today these sticky notes are one of the most popular school and office supplies.
Give each family member three to five post-it notes, and ask them to stick them to something they consider a blessing.
Blessings are things that bring happiness/joy to us. When we remember the spiritual blessings we have because of Jesus, we can be glad. When we remember a person who was kind to us, we smile. When we remember a Bible verse that comforted us when we were sad, we can be thankful. When our pet greets us at the door, we can be happy. We have many blessings!
God gives blessings—things that bring happiness to His people. Every good and perfect gift is from God (read James 1:17).
Does this mean we will only have good things in our lives? Many terrible things happened to Paul, but God continued to bless him. And don’t forget our biggest blessing is that we have a God who has promised to be with us and to bring something good in all situations, good or bad.
Roll of Dimes
Call a family meeting and give each child a roll of dimes. Explain that we want to choose thankfulness over complaining just like the apostle Paul did. Tell your child that every time you hear a complaint from them this week, they will have to give you one of their dimes. Any dimes they have left at the end of the week will be theirs to keep. (Take them to a store to spend the dimes they have left!)
God gives us what we need, so we shouldn’t complain!