Thankfulness is Like a Cup of Coffee!

Lisa’s Story…

Whenever I drink coffee, I get a burst of energy! This happens to me when I praise God or am grateful for all that others do. A thankful heart is more powerful than coffee though!!! I want to grow thankfulness in my kids and I know it starts with me, and a few intentional activities can help. Gratefulness pulls me out of a sluggish slump. It gives me strength to climb out of a pit and it puts a song in my dancing feet.

At the moment, I have a foot that is in so much pain that I can’t move around very much. I’m actually not supposed to move on it all until it heals.

I seriously could whine about this and be grumpy, but there is this joy in my heart that keeps me going. I give God the glory for that.

I’m pretty sure that this joy comes from my willingness to see the good in the challenges, trials, and hardships. I haven’t always been very strong in this area, but God’s loving ways have helped me overcome myself.

As a mom, I desire to help my kids to be thankful in the midst of the storms and challenges. They see me going through some pretty horrible pain right now with my foot and by God’s grace, I’m making it. They are praying for me and helping me out. My kids are blessing me by honoring me and doing more than what is expected at times. Together we are all growing through this challenge and thankfulness keeps me smiling.

This post by Lisa Brown is from, the online community where Dr. Scott Turansky, along with other trained parenting coaches, and parents are exploring how to use a heart-based approach to equip children for life.

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Activities for Increasing Thankfulness in Kids

Here are some ideas for increasing thanksgiving in children. These are more can be found posted in this week:

Thankful Jar – Decorate a canning glass jar with the whole family by modge–podging leaves on it from outside or hot gluing fabric or ribbon on the outside of the jar. Sit with the whole family, handout small paper and pencil, have everyone share what they are thankful for and for younger kids who can’t write, either write it for them or have them take a picture. Every once in a while, take out the jar and read the thankful notes.

Thankful For One Another Bag – Each family member gets their own bag to decorate with pictures and words that describe themselves. Pictures and words can come from magazines, or real photos!!! Each side of the bag can be decorated with four different themes. One – What I am good at. Two – What I’m thankful for. Three – What I like to do, and Four – things I would like to do with my life. After bags are created, each family member shares their story. What goes in the bag? — Comment cards from every family member. On the cards each person is to write a thank you note, why they are thankful for their family members.

Thankful Placemats – Have each child choose a large piece of construction paper and hunt for pictures of animals, plants, food, and people like doctors, firemen, dentists, friends, and family members. Make four squares on the paper – each square for the above themes: a square for animals, a square for plants, a square for food, and a square for people. Use these placemats for giving thanks at meal times. Pictures help little kids identify with the things that God gives us.

Thankful Tree Centerpiece – Find a stick with branches and secure it in some clay on a plate or in a jar. This is your tree. Help kids make their hand prints on colorful construction paper and cut them out. Kids write down what they are thankful for on one side of the hand and decorate the other side with glitter! Hang thankful hands on the “tree” and at meal times talk about what has been written on the hands.

Thankful letters – Help kids get in the habit of writing thank you letters to others when they do something nice for you. Create a letter box with stamps, envelopes, stickers, fun pens and markers, cards and addresses. Have kids create their own thank you cards.

Thank You Post-it Notes – As a family get in the habit of saying thank you to each other and posting thank you notes through out the day!

Thank You Journals – Help your family get in the habit of writing prayer requests from themselves and others in a journal. Frequently visit the journal and give God thanks for answering your prayers. Great for family night activity or a family picnic in the park. Take turns sharing praise reports on how God has answered your prayers.

What are some of your ideas for making Thanksgiving meaningful or increasing gratefulness in your children?


Would you like more encouragement using a heart-based approach? Start on page 117 in the book Parenting is Heart Work to understand more about the Gratefulness Principle, and how to use it to mold a child’s heart.

To watch the Facebook Live Video of Dr. Scott Turansky teaching kids to practice gratefulness, go here.

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  • Carrie Turansky
    Posted at 17:16h, 18 November Reply

    Great ideas! Teaching thankfulness in the family is important! Thanks Lisa and Scott!

    • Lisa B
      Posted at 18:59h, 19 November Reply

      Thanks Carrie!! This morning I found sticky notes from my eight year old daughter, who shared personal notes thanking us. So sweet and heart warming.

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