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Teaching Our Children Gratitude

I believe that gratitude is the foundation of a positive attitude. Gratitude, like many other virtues and/or positive values, is a learned character trait that should be taught as early on as possible in a child’s life.

Gratitude is a WHOLE Family principle because increases the quality of our lives and the ones of those around us. Reliable research shows that both children and adults, who act with gratitude report having fewer health problems, have more energy and best overall well-being than those who complain.teaching our children gratitude - MOMtivation the positive mom blog

5 Ways to Teach Our Children Gratitude:

  1. Avoid The 3 C’s. Stay away from criticism, complaints and contempt. Focus on the positive aspects of people, events, places and situations, express it out loud, and guide children in doing the same.
  2. Appreciate The Small Things. Organize outdoor fun activities and celebrate the beauty of God’s creations around you. Ask the children how they feel about the animal kingdom, the plants, or even the rain, the sunshine, and the falling leaves. “If you love life, life will love you back.” Demonstrate how happy you are just to be alive and your child will follow suit.
  3. Find Practicing Opportunities. Role-playing is a great way to teach thanksgiving. Encourage the generous sharing of compliments, thoughtful homemade gifts, and generous acts of service. Be sure to actively prepare your child for any important opportunities that may show up outside of the household. My daughters started out showing thankfulness through drawings (no wonder they are artists) and evolved to beautiful words of detailed and specific appreciation. They are never too young to get them started.
  4. Find A Lesson. It is undeniable that we are blessed beyond measure, but life can get gloomy and gray. When times seem rough, uncertain, or even unbearable, it is the best opportunity to teach our kids that miracles can come out of tribulation. Always point out what can be learned, what was gained, or how the situation equipped us to serve others better.
  5. Compare Carefully.  While contrast is a great way to learn gratitude, be careful to not exaggerate in your comparison. When you say to a child “some kids don’t have food on their plate,” they have to relate to that…it has to be real to them, in order to make an impact. Traveling to underprivileged locations or sponsoring a foreign child can be life changing for some kids. Instead of comparing, establish boundaries and define earned privileges. We all know we value more what we worked for and what cost more. It also gives them the perspective that allows them to appreciate the people who provide for them. And…while you’re at it, let your YESes be Yes and your NOs be No.

Remember: gratitude is more than saying “thank you.” It is the full expression of thanksgiving and appreciation. We are taught that “all things work for good” and, with that in mind, a good question to ask would be “What Can I Be Grateful For?”

Our ultimate goal is to teach our kids to love their life, no matter what circumstances they are presented with, understanding their divine purpose on Earth. Our children will be healthier, happier, and better behaved. Teaching our children gratitude will help us get closer to that goal.

How do you teach your son or daughter the positive principle of gratitude?


The challenging undertaking of being a spontaneous mom ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

Wednesday 9th of September 2015

[…] driving to Florida, or going on an 8-day Cruise. I’ve found that “surprises” help children be more grateful, because it teaches them not to take these things for […]

Lexie Lane

Wednesday 4th of June 2014

I really love this post. I've been trying to figure out how to do this with my son and I know that as he gets older and starts to understand more, I think these will start to make a little more sense. Thank you!

Jeanette Mays

Tuesday 3rd of June 2014

LOVE this article. I feel the same way. To many kids these day are unappreciative, disrespectful and have feel entitled to everything.

Ann Bacciaglia

Tuesday 3rd of June 2014

Teaching our kids gratitude is so important. Thank you for sharing these tips.


Tuesday 3rd of June 2014

I always appreciate the smaller things in life because I was in a very low place in my life before. I also teach my daughters gratitude too and staying humble.

Again, a very awesome and thought provoking post!