How to Raise Grateful Children

Everyone loves to feel appreciated. So we should try to instill gratitude within our children. Happy people are grateful people. Raising happy kids has both immediate and long term benefits.

Gratitude takes time to develop. While we can teach our children to say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate, true gratitude goes deeper.

Here are some helpful tips to help your child understand and practice gratitude:

  • Lead by example: Kids look up to their parents. If you make it a habit to express gratitude, it will be more natural for them to follow in your footsteps. Also, express gratitude to your children when they do something you appreciated.
  • Talk about gratitude and emotions: Make your expectations clear and consistent with your children. Help them understand what gratitude is, and how it can make people feel. Have them recall a time when someone expressed gratitude to them. Ask them how it made them feel.  Then, explain to them how they can make others feel good by expressing gratitude.
  • Everything has a price: It is natural for children to desire material possessions. However, it’s important to raise them to have gratitude for everything that they already have. On top of this, gratitude can be beneficial if your child is responsible for earning their possessions. If your child has a list of toys that they desire, start by pointing out all the other awesome toys they already have. Then, ask them to make a list equally as long of things they are willing to do in order to earn their toys.
  • Help others who are less fortunate: Find places where you and your children can volunteer and give back. Volunteering can be very fun and fulfilling. It also shows them that there are many who are less fortunate than they. Volunteering will help them develop compassion for others.
  • Instill daily gratitude: If your child has a rough time transitioning from sleep to wakefulness, use this time to have them list three things for which they are grateful. If they are having trouble, list your own three things. What a wonderful way to start or end the day!

For more information on helping your children learn gratitude:

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Child Mind Institute. (2019). 10 Tips for Raising Grateful Kids: How to help kids show (and feel) appreciation. Retrieved from:

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