It can be hard to know how to teach kids to be grateful. Now that I’m a parent, I’ve been trying to find ways my children understand this concept. However, thanks to my cousin, the struggle was made easier.
My cousin Jill is officially the most creative parent I’ve ever met. Several years ago, before I even had kids, I was in awe of her brilliant ways to teach kids gratitude.
What Is Gratitude: Gratitude Definition
Gratitude is the virtue of thankfulness. It is being able to easily show thankfulness, and to return kindness for things you have or things someone has done for you.
Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen in your life and taking the time to express appreciation and return kindness. Being grateful is more than saying thank you. When you express gratitude, it can actually lead to a stronger sense of well-being.–Common Sense Media, What is Gratitude?
How To Teach My Child To Give Thanks
In today’s world, teaching gratitude isn’t easy nor is learning how to be grateful an easy feat. You have all these materialistic things flashing in front of your face on social media, television, and everywhere you go – someone always has the latest gadget.
Our kids see this.
They see us with our iPhone stapled to our hand, and they are modeling our behavior. And if it isn’t our phones it is our computers, or gaming systems both large and handheld.
Just yesterday I was walking into the grocery store and two school-aged boys walked right into my shopping cart and fell on the floor. They were both walking with their heads down, staring at their handheld games. And all you have to do is Google people with iPhones walking into things.
Go ahead…You’ll have a good laugh.
We live in a very materialistic world. We live in a world where technology at times seems to take priority over people. Instilling gratitude is now more important than ever!
That’s why as parents we need to know how to teach our kids gratitude.
Related: Download & Print our Gratitude Journal for Kids
How To Teach Gratitude (For Kids)
The most creative and inspiring idea from my cousin Jill was her one simple tip to raise grateful children. This awesome tip helped me learn how to teach kids to be grateful.
It all starts with: hard work, generosity and kindness.
Each month, Jill and the kids would have a Do Good Day.
Teaching Gratitude By Hosting A Monthly Do Good Day
First the kids had to do chores to earn money to give away! That was the first tip that blew my mind.
The boys would vacuum, sweep, and take out the garbage and more to earn money to serve others. (That’s right, their allowance was used to serve others, not to self-serve).
After they earned their money, they would spend the remainder of the day serving their community.
One day, I asked her what they were doing for their monthly Do Good Day.
She smiled back with a happiness inside of her that every parent desires. She paused for a moment and replied:
We are bringing toys to the hospital, dog treats to the humane society, homemade cookies to the local drug and alcohol rehabilitation spot and, best of all, the boys have to do chores to make money and then we are giving it away!-Jill
I decided to do this after our oldest lost his bouncy ball and didn’t want to spend any of the EIGHTY dollars in his piggy bank to buy a new one. He wanted me to use MY money.
Time to start earning and sharing!
How to Practice Gratitude through Serving Others
Her kids got so used to serving others and sharing, they started asking for charity donations in lieu of birthday gifts! How amazing is that?
All it took was one day per month to teach gratitude. On top of that, several friends were inspired to do the same with their kids.
Related: Looking for more parenting tips? <–We have over 1000 helpful posts you may enjoy and some that may just make you smile.
How to Plan Your Own Do Good Day
- Choose one day per month.
- Have your kids do chores to earn money beforehand or the actual day.
- Have your kids use their money to buy ingredients to make goods for others or use the money to donate to others in need.
- Talk about the experience. What happened, how did you all feel afterward, and how can you serve others better next time? How can you persevere and push forward?
Gratitude For Kids FAQs
When kids have a working understanding of gratitude, it changes their perspective of the world. They can see the blessings around them instead of feeling entitled with a scarcity mindset. Concentrating on what they have instead of what they don’t have fills the soul with happiness.
“The Oxford Dictionary defines the word grateful as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” This is where the difference lies; being thankful is a feeling, and being grateful is an action.”
We have talked about several ways to teach kids to express gratitude in this article, but the most important aspect of expressing gratitude is consistent practice so it becomes second nature!
MORE GRATITUDE ACTIVITIES FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG
- Let’s make a thankful tree as a family.
- Follow along how to make a gratitude journal.
- Easy thank you notes for kids
- Gratitude journaling ideas for kids and adults
- Gratitude facts for kids & I am grateful coloring pages
- Printable horn of plenty craft for kids
- Free gratitude cards to print and decorate
- Gratitude activities for kids
More to See:
How are you teaching your kids to be grateful? Does your family have a tradition like do good day?