Gratitude is a powerful emotion and understanding to teach our Grands. Engaging them in purposeful giving is one way to start putting a heart-level understanding of gratitude into our Grands. Today we’re going to talk about teaching gratitude through purposeful giving. Why? Because giving from a place of joy, love, selflessness, and a true desire to bless others, only flows from a grateful heart.
Gratitude and generosity are closely interwoven in human interaction. Often, experiencing the results of helping those in need creates a surge of gratitude in our own hearts. Gratitude for what we have been given or how we are able to live our lives. That surge of gratitude, and the joy it brings, then makes it much more likely we will continue giving. Which leads to a truly grateful and generous heart. Yes, it’s circular, but aren’t so many things in life? This process of giving, blessing, feeling blessed, and desiring to share what we have is just one of the beautiful cycles in life. Let’s think about how we can share and teach our Grands to join in the giving lifestyle.
Tips for Teaching Gratitude
#1 Start Young
First, start early. Let little ones carry toys or food items to be donated. Around the holidays, collection boxes are abundant and charities are reaching out for contributions to bless the less fortunate in our communities. Engage and talk about this with young children. Explain why you’re contributing and who the recipients will be. Explain why you have an abundance from which to give. Make it natural that they would join the family in sharing. Make it a joyful process and be sure to let them know this is not an obligation that you undertake grudgingly. Start them on their way to being cheerful givers.
#2 Teaching Gratitude Through Service
As they grow, move children into service projects. Maybe your family works together in a ministry preparing and serving meals to the homeless or delivering food baskets to the homes of those in need. You could even help an elderly neighbor with yard work. By having the entire family participate, the younger members see the cohesiveness of the generations in purposeful giving attitudes and activities. The Grands also experience firsthand the gratitude of the recipients. From there, it’s a natural progression to understanding and feeling gratitude for the blessings they enjoy themselves.
#3 Inspire Purposeful Living
An interesting side note here is that such experiences often birth purpose in young hearts, too. They decide they like helping others and begin to explore careers offering the same opportunity to help those less fortunate, infirm, or in harm’s way. As they learn to be grateful for what they have, they also learn to be grateful for what they can do, and for purpose in their lives. They learn to be everyday heroes in the lives of others.
As we enter the month of November, do a gratitude review in your family. If you haven’t done purposeful giving projects together before, consider it this year. Look at your Grands and be purposeful in teaching them to be grateful.