Teach Children to Count Their Blessings

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By: Carolyn Tomlin

Johnny comes in from school, tosses his books on a table, and turns on the computer for video games. In comes, Mom, who offers a snack, then says, “Johnny, please take out the trash before dinner. Pick-up day is tomorrow.”

“Why do I have to be the one to take out the trash?” he says with a frown on his face. “Let someone else do it!”

As parents, we are our child’s first and best teacher. God planned for families. It is our responsibility to teach and train our children—for the present—and for the future. How we respond to this, and simpler situations, will determine the attitude our children develop. We teach more with actions, than words.

Mom could make threats and respond in a negative outburst, such as, “Okay, if that’s your answer, no more TV or computer games tonight. Go to your room!” Or, she could say, “Johnny, perhaps taking out the trash isn’t your favorite chore, but we are a family, and we each share in the work of our home. Instead, could we thank God that we have food in our home and this food often results in containers and packages?” A positive response is the one a child remembers when they start their own family. As we observe the Thanksgiving holidays, think of ways to help your child count their blessings. In areas where natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes occur, family possessions are reduced to rubble. Nothing is left…not even a simple shelter. People are

in shock, as they’ve lost their homes, pets, livestock, and often family members. Let your child hear you say, “Thank you God that we have a home that shelters our family.”

In war torn countries, displaced people and refugees fight hungercold, disease, and fear the unknown. Thousand are dying, many of which are women and children. Let your child hear you say, “Thank you God for a freedom from fear. Thank you that we have food on our table, warm houses in winter, and people who work to keep our communities safe.” We take for granted, simple things like clean drinking water. In areas,hit by hurricanes, one of the aftermaths of the storm is disease, especially a cholera epidemic. Say, “Thank you God for clean drinkingmwater.”

Counting our blessings is not limited to Thanksgiving, but it’s a time to help children realize the gifts that God provides. Instead of using negative comments when children don’t carry out our wishes, try turning the phrase into a positive approach. Like a snowball rolling downhill,

one family can influence others… and others. Let it begin with your home.

Carolyn Tomlin writes for the magazine and newspaper market, She is the author of Writing Books for Children and Youth, available on Amazon and Kindle. Email: tomlinm@bellsouth.net.