Developing a family culture that encourages gratitude and thanksgiving is important—especially in a world that places so much emphasis on acquiring more of the latest stuff.
By having regular conversations that focus on discovering and appreciating the good things in our lives, we rewire our minds to experience contentment and express thankfulness for our many blessings. We also develop the ability to recognize God’s providence in our lives.
In our fast-paced, technologically savvy world, it can be difficult finding time to have these important conversations. And when we do find time, it can be hard to do it in a way that doesn’t come across awkward or heavy handed.
Here’s a collection of prompts to help you get some family conversation going around the topic of gratitude. They can be used over dinner or during a drive to the grocery store. (These prompts are also wonderful icebice-breakers studies and home groups!)
Gratitude Conversation Starters
- What memory always makes you smile?
- Do you typically think that you have more than you need, less than you need, or exactly what you need?
- Can you remember a time you received something that you totally didn’t deserve? How did that make you feel?
- What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
- What positive adjectives do you think people would use to describe you?
- What do you hope people will say about you at your funeral?
- What is something you have given away that you regret?
- Can you remember a time when you could have given something, but didn’t?
- If you could spend an entire day doing whatever you want, what would it be?
- Who is the most generous person you know? What makes them that way?
- What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
- What is the sickest you’ve ever been? How did you get better?
- What is the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
- Do you have a story of about a prayer that was answered? What happened?
- Is there a time that you had a prayer go unanswered and it turned out for the best?
- Imagine you’re being interviewed for a newspaper article and the interviewer asks, “Who made you the person you are today?” Whose names would you say?
- What do you like about your home? City? Country?
- What is the hardest thing you’ve ever learned to do?
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
- Who is the person you trust the most? What makes them so trustworthy?
Putting These Prompts to Work
These conversation starters are intended to get families to recognize and discuss life’s blessings. It’s helpful to let the conversation run its course. Don’t try to force an agenda on it.
If your children struggle to find things they’re thankful for, or if they express appreciation for silly things, don’t correct them. You’re working to create a culture where gratitude can be identified and freely expressed. The conversation can be guided by more questions, but gratitude is often more caught than taught. Hearing you regularly convey thankfulness is going to have the most profound effect on your entire family.
Learn more about what the Bible says on this topic with 20 Bible Verses on Gratitude and Thanksgiving.