Children that are grateful for the many blessings they have in life are happier and more content than unthankful children. 

Gratitude makes us healthier, happier, and more optimistic. Don’t we want that for our children? I know when my kids are being ungrateful, I need to take a step back and ask myself: “Am I showing an attitude of unthankfulness? Am I forgetting to vocalize thankfulness? What about spoiling my kids? Am I giving in to their wants all the time?”

These are things that affect my child’s ability to be thankful. While being intentional about not spoiling your kids can also help, the most important part of teaching your children to be grateful is to be an example. 

If you want grateful kids, be thankful and positive yourself.

Gratitude is an attitude. What attitude we cultivate in our children (and in our own lives) will shape the rest of their lives and affect every aspect of their life.

7 Ways To Teach Gratefulness To Your Children

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Thessalonians 5:18 

1. Verbalize gratefulness daily.

Look for things to be thankful for. Make it a habit at the dinner table to have each child think about one thing they are grateful for. Even if it is just once a week, this habit will challenge your children’s minds to look for things to be thankful for.

2.Teach them to serve others.

Be intentional about looking for ways to serve others in your community. Find a local soup kitchen where your children can serve or see if they can play games once a week at a home for seniors. Lonely widows and seniors will enjoy the time your kids will spend with them. Not only will this teach your children to think about others, but it will also teach them to be thankful for family and friends they have. 

3.Give them chores.

Children that are required to do chores around the home feel more secure in their role in the family. Everyone wants to feel needed, and when a child knows that what he does for you is appreciated, he feels secure in his relationship with you.

4.Teach them what “NO” means.

Be consistent with your words. When you say no, mean it. Don’t go back on your word. Instead, think carefully about their requests and then stick to your decision.

5.Don’t spoil them.

When you give your child everything he wants, you are not doing him any favor. Not only will he be more grateful for the things he does receive, but he will also take better care of it. I have seen it again and again, children that receive fewer presents and toys appreciate them a lot more.

6.Make them feel appreciated.

If you want your children to be grateful, they also need to feel appreciated. Make an effort to thank them for the things they do, however small it may be. Praising a child encourages him and makes him want to please you. 

7.Be an example

All the above examples are for naught when the parents do not set an example themselves. When our children start complaining and being ungrateful, the first thing I need to do is look at myself. Am I being thankful and content, or am I showing ungratefulness? Look to yourself first. Are you a negative or positive influence on your children? 

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” 

Gerald Good

Raising grateful kids in an entitled world is not only possible, but it is also something parents should all strive for. Not only are grateful children happier, but they also are more considerate and less self-centered. 

Look for every opportunity to teach your children how to be grateful. Once you start looking, you will find many things to be thankful for.

You may also be interested in this post: 10 Fall Activities for Christian Families, which includes links on ideas to practice thankfulness or 5 Ways to Give Them Jesus.

Guest Blogger Bio.

I’m Marilyn, mother to five children, two handsome boys, & three beautiful girls. My husband & I live in northern Canada, where the winters are cold and the summers are short. Teaching our children to be who God wants them to be is very important to me. In my spare time (little as it may be!), I blog at keepersathome.ca, where I write about the lessons I am learning in being a biblical wife. 

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