November in the U.S. means Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. It will be a month focused on gratitude and thankfulness, and we’ve even shared 4 ways to help kids develop an attitude of gratitude in the past. But if our focus ends at gratitude, we do our kids and families a disservice.
Thanksgiving is not just about gratitude; it’s about how our gratitude leads to generosity.
Take a look at the name itself. Sure, Thanksgiving is all about “giving thanks,” but I think we can also identify the themes of gratitude (thanks-) and generosity (-giving) in the title. Gratitude and generosity coexist as two sides of the same coin, and we can’t cultivate one without the other.
Gratitude stems from a place of contentment and causes an abundance mindset in life. If life is abundance and not scarcity, then I can afford to be generous with others. Gratitude allows us to turn our attention to God’s generosity that stirs a generous spirit in ourselves toward others.
God’s Word teaches us about this connection between gratitude and generosity in 2 Corinthians 9:11 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (NIV). When we are thankful for the blessings God has given us, we can be generous with those blessings, which will instill gratefulness and generosity in others.
It turns out there are even neurological connections between gratitude and generosity. When we are more grateful, we become more generous.
So as we teach about this theme of gratitude this month, let’s take kids a step further and allow that gratitude to create a spirit of generosity too.
Here are a few ideas and resources that may help:
- Generosity Gospel Illusion Video about giving and how God provides generously so we can be generous with others
- 15 Fall Service Projects for Families – Share these ideas with your families to encourage generosity and serving this fall
- Generosity Challenge – Free download to help kids learn about generosity and instill it in their daily lives
- 5 Ways to Raise Generous Kids – Blog post with simple ways parents can encourage generosity in their kids
- 4 Ways to Develop Gratitude in Kids – Blog post with ideas for teaching the skill of gratitude (and why it’s important for kids)
- Build a Grateful Turkey Craft – Printable craft that lets kids make a fun reminder of their gratitude
- Thankfulness Log – Free download to help kids journal about what they’re thankful for
- 30 Days of Thankfulness – Invite families to complete a 30 days of thankfulness challenge
- Family Devotions like the Great Gratitude Feast or Gobble Up Gratitude
- Gratitude Alphabet Activity Page – Free downloadable activity