With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s fun to think of something special to give our kids to celebrate the occasion. I enjoy giving my kids Thanksgiving books and books about thankfulness. Reading books together on thankfulness is a great way to encourage our kids to be thankful and get them excited about celebrating Thanksgiving!
The month of Thanksgiving is the perfect time to cultivate a heart of thankfulness in our children. With the remembrance of the pilgrims and how God helped them through their trials, we can appreciate how much God has blessed us and thank Him for all He has done in our lives too!
I hope you enjoy this devotional designed for ages 4-8 to teach your children how to have a thankful heart. Read the italic section or paraphrase with your children to fit their age level. -Taylor
Joey and Carla, it’s great to be interviewing you again! I learned so much from your book Why Can’t I get My Kids to Behave and appreciate your Mom’s Notes, podcasts, and mentorship over the years. I am excited about this new book and four-part video series you have out, How Temperaments Impact You, Your Spouse, and Your Kids. Can you tell us a little about temperaments and what they are?
When I was in the first grade, I remember an interesting story that occurred in my class about lunchbox notes. We would bring our lunches to school every day and eat at our desks, while our teacher would eat at her desk. One day, a girl named Emily went up to our teacher with a small folded note and asked if she would read it to her. The teacher looked over the note and began to read it in front of the class. It was a sweet note written by Emily’s mom. Emily beamed while the teacher read her note and proudly sat back down at her desk to finish her lunch.
Now we will discuss a final way to reach our children’s hearts and that is through prayer. In Acts we learn that the early disciples devoted themselves to prayer. (Acts 2:42) We also know that the prayer of a righteous (mom) is powerful and affective, so praying for our children’s hearts is arguably the most important thing we can do.
Today we will be discussing a fourth way to reach our children’s hearts: Teaching a Dependence on God.
We live in an independent world where we grow up in a culture with a “Do it yourself” mentality. Independence is seen as a strong, desirable trait, and dependence as a weak one. But in the Kingdom of God, things are reversed. God’s Word says to rely on the Lord for everything. In fact, this builds our relationship with God when we depend on Him.
As parents we want our kids to have a relationship with God and follow in His ways, but their hearts have to be open to receiving truth and desiring a relationship with God. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT that we cultivate the heart of our children to desire this from a young age. We have been discussing 5 Ways to Lead Your Children’s Hearts to Christ, and we talked about the first way: Keeping Distractions at Bay a few weeks ago. If you missed this post, you can go back and read it here before moving on. It has some great preventative measures to help keep our children from getting distracted from their relationship with God.
Distractions can keep our children from loving and following God with all their hearts. The first type includes things that are good but that can become idols. For example, when our kids are more focused on their peer-group or favorite activities than on God, it is easy to let these “good things” become number one in their life and take the place of God.
The second type of distractions include negative influences that can lead our children into sin or believing things contrary to God’s truth. If our children are around these type of influences, the enemy can use them to pull our kids away from their growing relationship with Christ.