1. I am intentional in pointing out miracles.
When I am at home, I am a walking exclamation point. My language is filled with phrases like “Wow!”, “incredible!”, “Isn’t that amazing?”, “Can you believe that?” and “What are the chances?”. When my child was younger I had to spell things out for her in order for her to see the awesomeness in things. Now, she has internalized this attitude and would often be the one to point out amazing things. One time we were out of the house and she was so thirsty. There was no vendor in sight but I brought an extra water bottle for her so she was able to drink right away and she turned to me and said “Wow mom isn’t it lucky we have water? We didn’t even have to spend money!”
2. Teaching a point-of-view of abundance vs Want.
Want, want, want. We live in a culture that celebrates materialism and wanting something newer, better or bigger. The first thing I had to do was unlearn my own mentality of want and boy was that hard. We routinely purge our home for things but I have learned that more than the actual purchasing of things we also have to watch what we say. Do you repeatedly say “I want to buy____” or “I want another_____”. Do you always take your child window shopping? What could that be teaching your child?
How about appreciating what we already have? Instead of talking about wanting to buy a bigger tv
3. Counting the miracles we have.
A lot of people practice keeping gratitude journals and this would be a great place to count miracles. My daughter and I personally do this during prayer. 2 nights ago, Andrea’s grandfather invited her to Kidzania (a place she loved so much) part of our prayer was “We are amazed once again by how many people you put around us that love us and bless us Dear Lord. Thank you for Wowo and thank you for impressing in him the desire to bless Andrea with a trip to Kidzania.”
4. Restedness in God’s Wisdom and Provision as our Father.
One thing that’s sometimes hard for kids to understand is how a good father like God would ignore the fervent desires of His people. I told Andrea that God only gives us what’s best for us, and sometimes the things we think would make us happy are not really the best for us.
My daughter particularly loves it when I talk about how I initially wanted to have a son and not a daughter. However, God didn’t bless me with a son and instead I had her. I talk about how lucky I am that God didn’t give me what I thought I wanted and how much happier I am now with what God gave me. We then talk about how sometimes God loves us so much that he can’t give us the things we think we want because they won’t really make us happy.
5. Shifting away from the selfishness towards others.
Lastly, we try to shift her focus away from herself and her wants to the wants of others. This is still a work in progress but there are things we do like routinely giving away her toys and her books. Or when we go to parties and receive a lot of prizes we split them and share them with other kids. One of my happiest (and proudest) moment was during the birthday of one of Andrea’s friends. We bought a present that I knew Andrea would also enjoy *. On the way to the party Andrea exclaimed “I’m so happy for _______. He’s going to love this toy so much.” Isn’t that a great attitude?
(*NOTE: whenever we buy presents for other kids it’s so tempting to buy Andrea a toy as well but we realize we are robbing her the joy of giving to others. When she was younger she would look enviously at the toys she is giving away but that has since changed)
All in all, these steps are great in helping our kids develop a miracle mindset but ultimately the best way to teach our kids is for us to model that mindset ourselves!