Gratefulness doesn’t come naturally. Starting at birth, babies demand what they want. They don’t show gratitude, but demand more from their parents until they are old enough to be taught the attitude of gratefulness.

The first thing to remember about instructing a child in gratefulness is that parents are the teachers. And, no matter what books you may read to a child, your example is the main thing. Children will become grateful in a natural progression if they see the behavior in their parents.

Parents may well have big goals for their family and wishes for future success, but having a grateful heart is important. Children sense an attitude of gratitude and will likely follow.

Don’t indulge –

Children shouldn’t be given everything they want, even if you have the means to provide it. Spoiling a child will make them expect to get their way and feel entitled. They won’t be grateful for things they have if they are given too much.

Live a life of service –

Growing up watching your parents serve others, especially those less fortunate, will show your children that many people don’t have much. This helps children to be appreciative of what they’re given.

Speak with grateful words –

Be intentional when you’re talking with your children. Whether money is plenteous or scarce, speak grateful words. Show your children that you are thankful for what you have.

Gratefulness remembered –

Keeping a family Journal of Gratitude can be a great way to share things that you’re thankful for. Many people do this at Thanksgiving, but it’s more powerful to keep it year-round. During family-time or at dinner, you can write down things that your children mention that they’re grateful for. Share specific things with them, too.

Saying Thanks –

Sitting down to eat dinner as a family is a wonderful time to share the day. Saying thanks in a family prayer teaches children that they should be thankful for their food. They should also be encouraged to write Thank-you notes when they are given a gift. We should teach them to always appreciate something that is given to them.

Show Contentment –

Living a life of contentment will be seen by those around us. If we are content with what we have, others will recognize it. Children will learn from parents to be content and grateful.

It’s not easy to be the teacher who instructs our children in the way of gratefulness. But, we are the ones given the responsibility and the ability. All good things are a gift from God and we can share the gifts with our children. Instructing them in a way that is natural is the best way, if not the easiest.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Lisa Ehrman

Lisa has been blogging since 2013, and loves sharing resources and ideas for living a simple life. To get free printables, bonus words, and more - sign up for the newsletter.


Terri Shaw · February 13, 2020 at 2:33 am

This was a wonderful posting. Very informative.

Christina Gould · February 14, 2020 at 7:52 pm

“Growing up watching your parents serve others, especially those less fortunate, will show your children that many people don’t have much.”

This is true. My parents set a good example by helping others in the community in many different ways. Thanks for posting!

    Lisa Ehrman · February 14, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    I think we were both very blessed πŸ™‚

Judy Metcalf · February 15, 2020 at 7:35 pm

I’m so glad that I taught my Daughter how to be very polite and be grateful for everything you achieve in life.

    Lisa Ehrman · February 16, 2020 at 11:09 am

    That’s wonderful, and I’m sure everyone that gets to know your daughter will also be thankful πŸ™‚

Calvin · February 16, 2020 at 11:15 am

Gratefulness is a wonderful thing, a state of being, it’s good to have a mantra.

    Lisa Ehrman · February 16, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Yes, it certainly changes you πŸ™‚

Kaycee · February 17, 2020 at 8:01 am

This is great. Thank you for sharing.

    Lisa Ehrman · February 17, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    You’re so welcome πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day!

sheila ressel · February 17, 2020 at 8:17 am

I try to find something to be grateful for everyday, even bad days. I am always grateful for that day because I woke up!

    Lisa Ehrman · February 17, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Great attitude, Sheila! It’s definitely a blessing to be alive πŸ™‚

Mark C · February 20, 2020 at 4:31 am

Great advice!

Sandy Klocinski · February 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

This is an awesome post! It is so true that we must lead by example.

    Lisa Ehrman · February 28, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks. And, sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do, isn’t it?

Tamra Phelps · February 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm

It can be hard to remember how grateful we ought to be. Sometimes, it seems we tend to focus on what we need or want rather than what we have.

    Lisa Ehrman · February 29, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Yes, it’s very hard. But, when we do, our list goes on and on πŸ™‚

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