What is Thanks?
Welcome to the first post in the study of thankfulness. If you're going to teach your kids to be thankful, they have to first understand what being thankful is. Let's start with the definition of thanks:
THANKS, n. generally in the plural.
Expression of gratitude; an acknowledgment made to express a sense of favor or kindness received. Gratitude is the feeling or sentiment excited by kindness; thanks are the expression of that sentiment.
Thankfulness is an attitude of expressing gratitude. So what does gratitude mean?
GRAT'ITUDE, n. [L. gratitudo, from gratus, pleasing. See Grace.]
An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness. Gratitude is an agreeable emotion, consisting in or accompanied with good will to a benefactor, and a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy. Gratitude is a virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of duty.
That's a packed full definition. Essentially, gratitude is an emotion or feeling that we have towards someone who gives us something that excites us or makes us happy. Your kids may understand this by talking about Christmas or birthday gifts, but the best gift that we have been given is salvation. Jesus' incarnation, death, and resurrection is the ultimate gift and therefore deserves our ultimate thanks. Because we have been given this gift, we should express thankfulness in all areas of our lives.
Be Thankful Activity – FREE Printable
Talk about the definition of thankfulness with your kids. Discuss the ultimate reason for giving thanks and other reasons they have for being thankful. Have your kids draw and write about what is means to be thankful using these FREE printable activity sheets.
What is Thanks?
Free printable for kids to journal about what thanks is.
More on Thankfulness
Looking for more resources to teach your kids about Thankfulness? Take a look at this study I released at Kids in the Word… Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness.