This time of year, I’m especially hopeful that I learn the key to raising a grateful child. I can almost see the greedy arm of materialism reaching for my kids at every turn. Young ones are especially susceptible to advertising, but thankfully, they’re also ready to soak up what we teach them.
The other day, I set down a bowl of cereal in front of my daughter and she said, “Ohhh, thank you so much, Mommy! Thank you for making this!”
Be still my heart.
She is not someone who needs prompting to say thank you. She is also not someone who knows that pouring her a bowl of cereal doesn’t exactly qualify as “making” breakfast, but I’ll take what I can get. Sylvie melts my heart on a regular basis. (To be clear, not everything she does is as adorable as this.)
But I also want to use my influence wisely with both of my sweet kiddos.
How to Teach Kids Gratitude
Thankfulness is such an important quality for believers in particular. Being grateful for what God’s done in our lives opens up our hearts to praise Him and receive even more.
That’s why raising a grateful child is so important to us. I don’t know about you, but thoughtfully instilling my values in my kids doesn’t happen automatically. If I take it for granted that they’ll feel and express thankfulness, the enemy wins.Instilling my values in my kids doesn't happen automatically. Modeling gratitude is the best way to raise a grateful child. #grateful #parenting Click To Tweet
I think we all tend to overlook how often we express gratitude, and on the flip side, how often we complain. But we all know our kiddos are great at mimicking our best and worst behaviors!
Make an extra effort to talk about how much you appreciate things, whether its the leaves changing color or the coffee in your hand. (Side note: this Little People mom is so accurate.)
Thank God and thank those around you for the blessings they’ve shared with you, and your kids will take notice.
Share About Those in Need
Some kids require more sheltering than others, but moms should feel free to share about the needs of others according to your kiddo’s age. We’ve had a few simple discussions with my son about the poor, homelessness, or kids who don’t get presents at Christmas. These are heavy burdens for a child to bear, so we’re approaching these subjects with caution.
But I also want to raise world-changers who are aware of the darkness in the world and fight it with their generosity and faith. Just decide how much you think your child should know and explain in simple terms that your family is blessed.
Practice Thankfulness Together
Thanking God as a family shows kids that it’s important, it’s not something we “grow out of,” and that it’s a communal event. It doesn’t have to be at family mealtime, although that’s a great opportunity. Raising a grateful child means practicing gratitude together.
Repetition is the mother of learning.
Repetitio est mater studiorum
Repetition is key to learning and adapting new habits. So in order to help our kids learn gratitude, repeat all of the above! Make thankfulness a routine that your whole family participates in, and you’ll see a difference in the atmosphere in your home and in the hearts of your kids.
To summarize, raising a grateful child takes intentionality, practice, repetition, and a whole lot of grace.Raising a grateful child takes intentionality, practice, repetition, and a whole lot of grace. #grateful #parenting Click To Tweet
Gratitude for Kids Resources
I’m convinced that parents modeling it is the key to raising a grateful child. But a close second is helping your little ones express gratitude themselves.
I’m sharing a few wonderful resources and activities to make gratitude for kids easier and fun, too.
Gratitude Activities + Resources Roundup
- The Gratitude Game – Teach Beside Me
- Thanksgiving Kids Table – Meaningful Mama
- Gratitude Garland Free Printable – Somewhat Simple
- My Thank You Bible Storybook – Dayspring
- Gratitude Tree Activity – Premeditated Leftovers
- Turkey on the Table Book + Activity – Dayspring
Keep it up, moms, and remember to be intentional about your family values. I know from personal experience that it’s not easy, and kids will be rebellious, but continue training up those kids in gratitude.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6, KJV
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