Seasons of Gratitude

How do we help our children to have hearts of gratitude?

When my boys were younger, I had them earning money for simple chores at home. Instead of using a chart system or actual money, I printed up Leon Family Credits on paper. My boys had just learned to play the game, Monopoly, and loved having Monopoly money to hold and to count. So, I printed up my own version of Monopoly money on colored paper, and labeled them Leon Family Credits. The values ranged from 10 credits to 500 credits. My Leon Family 10 Credits equated to 10 cents.

When my boys made their beds in the morning, they each earned 10 credits. As they started to accumulate credits in their bank jars, they began to understand the value of hard- earned credits/money.

Our learning moments came when we were in the stores and they were wanting to buy something, as all children are inclined to do at the store. When I explained that a particular item would cost them making their beds at least 50 times, I could see connections being made in their brains with regards to the value of money.

When the holiday season rolled around, I had them use their Leon Family Credits to purchase gifts for their cousins, aunts, and uncles. Now that my older boys are 18 years and 15 years old, I believe our early years of earning and saving credits have helped them to have a greater understanding of the value of money, and thus are more thankful when receiving their gifts.