Remember what God thinks of grumbling.
The first step to turning grumbling into gratitude in your homeschool is to remember what God thinks of grumbling.
Sit down with your children and share the many Scriptures the Lord gives us that show the importance of praise and gratitude instead of grumbling.
Grumbling comes from the French language, which means “mutter between teeth.”
When we feel stressed, we think grumbling is a better option, but we forget how much God hates grumbling.
Why does God hate grumbling? Because, even if we don’t think so, it’s saying, “God, you’ve failed me.”
Also, the Bible talks about the grumbling Israelites in the desert. If you read Exodus, there are chapters and chapters about this. But, it can be summed up in this:
In the desert, the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. Exodus 16:2
God had a promised land waiting for them, but they only focused on the challenges. And He wasn’t happy with their attitudes.
Numbers 14:26-29 says, “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: ‘How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness, your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.'”
Jesus also said, “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” in John 6:43
And James 5:9 says, “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged.”
By sharing these and other scriptures with your children, you will not just be telling your children something that you think they need to do, but you will be putting God’s authority with it. Children need to see that we are God-centered, and our directions have biblical backing.
Assess If There is An Underlying Reason For the Grumbling
The next step to turn grumbling into gratitude in your homeschool is to see if there is a root reason. Often we move straight to correcting our kids, instead of figuring out the problem.
Bad attitudes, disobedience, and mouthiness are from the same vein. There is something unsettled within our kids.
It could be:
They could be:
- not having enough one-on-one time
- feeling neglected or even bullied
To troubleshoot this, make a list of when the grumbling or anger happens.
- Is it after screen time?
- Is it during a particular subject in school?
- Is it when they are getting ready for bed?
Next, try to figure out the why behind it:
- Were they hungry?
- Were they tired?
- Were they overwhelmed?
- Or is it that they simply don’t like the rules?
Then proactively seek solutions.
Here is an example of a situation we had in our family. Our kids don’t like bedtime. They always want to stay up later. So, We create a routine as fun as we could make it. For our 11-year-olds and under, they get ready for bed, get ice cream, and then it’s storytime. Our 12-year-olds and over, get ready for bed, get ice cream, and watch a show with Dad.
They don’t want to get ready for bed and of course, at that time of night, being tired doesn’t help with attitudes, but ice cream is fun and shifts the focus from what they don’t want to do, to what they do want (ice cream)!
Plus, the routine helps, so we don’t have to deal with grumbles or fights every day.
This strategy can work in turning grumbling into gratitude with your homeschooling as well.
- What is the situation?
- How does my child feel about this situation?
- What is a system I can create around the problem?
- How can I make that system fun?
Hardwire Praise To Turn Grumbling Into Gratitude
The third step to turning grumbling into gratitude in your homeschool is to hardwire praise in your heart and home.
We need to focus on God and the good, and then we will fully receive what God promised. But, we cannot do this of ourselves. It is not in us. We cannot tackle this problem alone. I’ve taught my kids to pray for the fruit of the Spirit. We cannot be loving, patient, kind, or grateful on our own. But we can ask God to work IN us.
Just like other emotions, gratitude is an emotion. It does not come naturally. It’s one that must be cultivated. We need to hardwire gratitude into our hearts consciously.
David, in the Scriptures, talks to himself and encourages his heart in Psalm 42:5. He asks himself why he is discouraged and tells himself to look up and hope in God! When we are tempted to grumble or be discouraged, we need to talk to ourselves using the scriptures as encouragement. What kind of conversation are you having inside your head?
It truly can become a habit if you work at it. As one of my friends calls it, we need to be “magnifying our mercies.”
–Do you have an overwhelming amount of laundry? What a mercy that God has given you these little people!
– Is it rainy and cold outside? What a mercy that you have such a warm, cozy home!
-Are you behind in a specific homeschooling subject? What a mercy that with homeschooling, you can set your own pace and focus on what is most important at the time!
-Are you feeling overscheduled, overwhelmed, and unappreciated: “Thank you God that you have given me a sound mind to make healthy changes in my life and the strength to be strong in the things I can’t change.”
When we train ourselves to praise, it changes everything, and eventually, it can become a habit. The more we replace our grumbling with gratitude, the more we hardwire the right responses, and this is something we will carry with us for life. How do I know? I saw it firsthand.
For the last twenty years, my Grandmother has lived with us. Just a few months into our grumble-free year, she fell and broke her back. In our already busy homeschool life, this was not expected. I had to pull back even more, and that was tough for me, and I was tempted to grumble; But, my Grandmother’s example convicted me.
Because of her dementia, each day, she awoke forgetting about her injury. Instead of complaining, she’d thank me for taking care of her. She’d also thank God for how good He was to her. Throughout the day, I’d hear Grandma singing praises to God as she lay immobile on her bed. She could not sit, stand, or walk, but she praised.
We can make a habit of turning our grumbling into gratitude in our homeschooling. And if we do this, no matter what the future year might hold, whether our plans fall into place as we had hoped, or whether the Lord changes our path to something different- we can trust in His divine plan and praise Him in our homeschool and our whole life!
Your turn — What is something that you have done to turn grumbling into gratitude in homeschooling? I’d love to hear about it!
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