Teach Your Child to Be More Grateful

There is no bigger responsibility than parenting. One of the biggest problems parents face while bringing up children is to teach them abstract values, such as being grateful for what you have. Take my son for example, he always want something new, toys, cat, bicycle, you name it. He is so fond of new stuffs that when he sees a novel item, he clings to me for it. But you know, kid’s passion is just a flash. He soon gets bored with the old, and start searching the new one. I have spent a lot time teaching him to cherish what he have and be thankful. Failed every time!

Gratefulness is not a real thing, so for children who know the world by seeing and feeling, this is too abstract. They can’t comprehend the true meaning of certain values. You just cannot keep telling your kid to ‘change your attitude’ or ‘think positive’ or ‘be grateful’. It just doesn’t work that way. The fact is that however difficult it may be, it is a parent’s duty to teach essential concepts to children. No parents want their children become whiny, selfish, or grabby. It is thankfulness, kindness and happiness that we are aiming to raise.

Set The Right Example

Gratitude and contentment go hand in hand. One can’t be happy without being grateful. A grateful child is a happy child. However, all this has to be taught in a way that the child understands the concept. Children like imitation, and you are your child’s first and best role model. If he sees you being grateful, he is more likely to understand and follow your way of life.  For instance, when your child passes a book for you, say “thank you” to him. And when you get something for him, teach him to say thanks at the meantime. It is a good method to teach them use the appreciate words at the right time. Besides, if you do some donation to the church or participate in charity, let your kids know what you are doing and why, and you may even invite them to join the activities with you.

Achievements Are No Must-Need For Gratitude

It is an unfortunate fact that we tend to relate gratitude only with achievements. We are grateful when we get a job, get a bonus, or even lose weight. The problem with this conditional approach is that it takes away much more than it gives. It also takes away happiness from our children’s life, because they then go on to believe that you must keep desiring something till you get it. Such an outlook can make you feel like there’s a void in your life that can only be filled by something tangible.

It does not have to be that way. You can learn and also show your children that you do not have to get something first to be grateful. Obviously, this requires practice, but you must remember that disciplining a child begins with self-discipline. If children see their parents being grateful and happy, they too will learn to be grateful for whatever they have.

Let They Work For What They Want

There is no better way of teaching a child to be grateful than having him/her work to get what he/she wants. It could be in the shape of doing good deeds, running errands, or earning and saving if he/she is old enough to do so.

Young children are prone to throw tantrums on being denied certain things they want. Never, ever reward bad behavior. If you give in easily and let their kids have what they want, you are just asking for trouble for yourselves, as well as for your children. As a rule, even if you think that the child should have what he/she is asking for, make sure that it is provided only after a reasonable period of time has elapsed. If something is worth having, the child should know that he/she has to wait for it.

Give The Right Reaction

When your child performs a kind act, praise him appropriately. You can say to him “My sweet, I’m so proud of you for sharing your toys with Sam.” While, when he does something selfish, you could say” Mommy is not happy now. You can’t just grab Sam’s doll without asking.” I have to say this is some kind like conditioned reflex, but it works well to change the kid’s bad habit and giving them confidence.

Explain The Thanksgiving History

Ok, maybe history is a little boring, but there is still necessity to let them know. Tell your child about the First Thanksgiving- the celebration to give thanks to God for guiding Americans to the New World. Also tell your kid about the Thanksgiving celebration in 1621 at the Plymouth Plantation for celebrating a good growing season and the proclamation made by George Washington when he created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the then government of the USA. Talk about how Thanksgiving and being grateful is about celebrating what has been achieved through hard work.

Thanksgiving is coming, it is a good time for us to start instructing gratefulness to our little ones. Tell them the history, do some donations, help people who have difficulties, but these are only beginning, the teaching of thankfulness, kindness and generosity should be a lifelong process and can proceed in very tiny trifle in every day.


Hi, this is Christine Allen from Livesnet, a site devoted to helping people find the perfect baby gears for their needs, and offer tips on daily problems. I love to write about parenting and baby product reviews. Why not visit our website to see my hot reviews on Davinici Kalani 4 in 1 convertible crib and Kidsline baby bedding.

Share the Love
Get Free Updates


  1. I think it is important to lead by example and also to get involved in donating and supoorting charities. Let your kids clean out their toys and donate those they don’t plat with anymore to children who are not as fortunate to have that many toys.

  2. A lot of people give their children stars and other types of stickers for their good behavior. I give mine coins. If they do something the first time I ask them they may get a penny. If they do something good without being asked they may get a nickle. I keep lots of pennies and nickles on hand and give them for any kind of good behavior I can think of. When they don’t mind they have to give me a penny. When they save enough I will take them and let them pick out and buy their own toy. This teaches them the value of money and they are very careful how they spend their money. They also appreciate the toys they buy more since they worked for it.