So the three’s are difficult. Just in case you forgot from when you had kids or if you don’t have a three year old tyrant ruling the house. They say terrible two’s but really it’s the testing two’s. Cause if you don’t survive the test of two’s– let’s face it– there’s no way you’re making it through three.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun. Lizzy told her first joke the other day.
“Knock-Knock- Who’s there” (Yeah she does both parts- it’s better)
“Who’s there Lizzy?”
“Cow…tickle!” (She then proceeds to poke me with her little fingers).
But the thing that is driving Sarah and I crazy is the attitude. All of sudden she could communicate her ideas AND her expectations. So, in our frustration we’ve been talking about the “Attitude of Gratitude”. How we need to be grateful.
Which for a three year old translates into: “Daddy, I AM grapeful!”
So we probably need to find better-kid-friendly words. But right now what we find ourselves working on is reminding our daughter that there are so many things for which we should be grateful.
So when Mom or Dad say “No” to the restaurant, we don’t pout, we say “Thanks for making a meal Mom!”.
When Mom or Dad say “No” to watching a movie, we don’t pout, we realize watching a movie is a “Special treat”.
We keep coming back to the same subject. Honestly, I was getting frustrated. I know that part of it is the phase we’re going through but I started asking myself, “Why is our daughter so ungrateful?”
Okay so it’s a little harsh for a three year old. But every parent knows how you immediately start questioning every strategy and discipline tactic you’ve tried.
Here’s what hit me hard though. Tucking her in one night, after a lengthy talk about pouting, I said. “Lizzy, we need to say thank you more often. That’s what it means to be grateful. You say thank you for all the good things we have.”
It hit me.
How often do I say thank you?
I mean we drill it into our kids.
Okay, now say:
But how often do I say it? I mean sure I say it when someone says “God Bless You!”
But… for the everyday, overlooked things. Not just to the people around me but to God?
How often do I thank my heavenly Father for the many, many blessings he’s given me?
How often do I do it front of Lizzy?
So, cue blue spotlight, sad-Charlie-Brown-piano-music, and a parent walk of shame.
But seriously, I’ve realized I want to start expressing my thanks, to others and to God more.
There’s a saying Andy Stanley uses.
“Unexpressed Gratitude is Expressed as Ingratitude”
Basically- I may think “I’m so grateful” But when I don’t express it, it’s expressed as “I’m ungrateful.”
So if I want my kid to be ‘grapeful’. Then I need to say thank-you.
Loudly and often.
Not to make a show of it but because when I don’t–something is communicated. I’m communicating that I’m not grateful- even if it’s not true. Gratitude in it’s very nature HAS to be expressed.
That’s why I’m excited about tonight.
Tonight is our Star Spangled FX. It starts at 7 and it’s going to be awesome! I’ve written before about why you should come to FX and those reasons are still true for tonight. If you can’t make it, tune it to newspring.org, as we’ll be live-streaming the whole event. Not only that but we have 23 kids who are going public with their faith and around 50 kids who have volunteered to help sing for the event.
I’ve seen them.
But the reason I’m excited for this event is because normally at a KidzWorld FX we talk about the Big Ideas that we are teaching kids so we can better partner with families. While we still aim to do that at this FX, this one is a little special.
As Artie would say: It’s Star Spangled!
Basically we want to take time as a ministry to be grateful for the many blessings we have in this country, including the many men and women who help protect those blessings.
So in an effort to practice what I…blog.
If you serve or have served in our military, thank you. Including to those in my own family, who I respect and admire more then they know, thank you.
If you serve in a public office to better our country, thank you.
If you serve as an officer, firemen, or EMT position to serve our communities. Thank you.
And of course whether you believe in God or not, we all should be thankful that our country was founded upon the principle that “all men are created equal”. If every person was created by the same God, in his image, then every person deserves freedom. It’s the idea that led to our Bill of Rights and it was the sentence that would lead to the Civil War as we fought to realize the full meaning of that statement. It’s the thing that fuels the equal treatment that is still fought for today.
I’m sure that no matter which “side of the aisle” you might find yourself there are things about our country that you want to change.
I’ve of the mindset that lasting change starts in our families, our homes, and our communities. So my families is trying to say “thank-you” louder and more often. Because if I want my kids to be “grape-ful” they have to hear it from me first.