Should I be strict or lenient when teaching my kids gratitude?

Kids don’t have responsibilities.

They usually receive things they need from you that they take for granted. So naturally gratitude is important for them. It plays an important role in their development and overall well-being.

You as a parent have to instill gratitude in your child from a young age. I’ll admit, it can sometimes be challenging. 

Because it is a process that requires time. Your kids won’t learn to be grateful in a single day.

A helpful way to start is by teaching your kids the importance of gratitude.

When your kids understand the benefits of gratitude, they’ll feel more motivated to practice it. It will also become easier for them to make it a habit.

What if the child is too young to understand the concept of gratitude?

Well, children tend to learn through observation. That can also serve as an alternative. If you consistently express gratitude in front of them, they’ll likely follow you.

I know, it’s easier said than done.

But I assure you, it is doable. 

You must be wondering, how?

I have prepared this article to teach you that. In here we’ll discuss::

  • What is Gratitude?
  • Tips on how to teach your kids gratitude in detail
  • Gratitude practices you can do together with your child
  • Most importantly, how to deal with challenges

I’ll also share a few tips you can follow to teach your kids about gratitude which you don’t want to miss.

So let’s dive in!

Why Gratitude Matters

Gratitude matters a lot.

In fact, I won’t be wrong if I say that it can change your lives. It doesn’t just affect your child, it affects people of all ages!

When you express gratitude you acknowledge the blessings in your life. In other words, you shift your focus towards the positive things.

  • Your views on life change.
  • You become more optimistic.
  • You feel more satisfied with your life.
  • You experience reduced stress and anxiety.

Not to mention, happiness.

Studies show that regular gratitude practice increases your happiness by 25%. You become more satisfied with your life and it helps you enhance relationships.

Gratitude is really important for your kids.

  • It helps them understand and care about others.
  • It boosts their self confidence.
  • It makes them feel good about themselves.

Most importantly. Through gratitude, your kids will be better equipped against stress and anxiety. One of the most common challenges they face today.

In general, teaching kids gratitude can bring changes to their lives. Your kid can become happy and resilient by practicing gratitude.

Now that you know the advantages of gratitude.

Here are a few tips on how to teach your kids to be grateful.

Instilling Gratitude in Kids

Teaching children the value of gratitude is important for their growth and development.

Gratitude helps your child focus on the positive aspects of their lives. It helps them focus on what they possess, instead of what they are missing.

More importantly, it helps them become more empathetic and generous towards others (also referred to as Emotional Intelligence).

Interesting right?

Here I have two tips you can use to instill gratitude in your kid.

Starting Early

Start from a young age.


Because when taught from an early age, your kids can have enough time to develop good habits. It can also help lay the foundation for a positive mindset in your kid.

Not just that, there are a lot of other things you can teach them from an early age.

You can also motivate your kids to express appreciation whenever they receive anything. Whether it is a present or a kind word.

Additionally you can educate your kids about the value of cherishing the joys in life. They can be something like witnessing a sunset or having a good meal.

What if my kid is too young to understand these concepts?

That’s where the second part comes in.

Be a Role Model

You are a role model for your kids. They learn things by observing you.

If you express gratitude, it will also motivate your kids to follow in your footsteps.

What you can do is, incorporate gratitude into your daily life. Show gratitude to your friends, family, and coworkers. To the point that you even thank the delivery guy at your doorstep.

Your kids will follow in your footsteps by observing you. Don’t worry, the effort will definitely be fruitful for both you and your child.

Because by instilling an appreciation for the good things, your kids can become generous. It can help them develop a positive attitude towards life.

Next, we’ll discuss some practical ways for you to teach your kids gratitude.

What is Gratitude? 5 Ways To Be Thankful in Life

Practical Ways to Teach Gratitude To Kids

One of the best ways to teach your kids gratitude is by incorporating it into their daily lives. After some time it’ll end up becoming a habit.

Here I have listed a few practices you can make your kids follow:

1. Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journal is a notebook where you record all the good things that happened in your life. When you write positive things, your focus shifts away from negative aspects of your life. You become happy, optimistic and satisfied with your life.

The same is applicable for your kids as well.

Here are a few steps and suggestions for you:

  1. Find a notebook. It can be anything simple or even fancy journals with room for drawings. I suggest you let your kid choose one. It’ll motivate them to write in it.
  2. Choose a time to maintain the journal. It is better if it is done before bedtime. Make sure you set a timer so you don’t forget.
  3. Ask your kid to write 3 good things about their day. You need to make sure that you help them write if they’re having trouble thinking.

By focusing on the positive aspects of their lives, your kids can cultivate an appreciation for what they have.

Another practice very similar to journaling is writing Thank you notes.

2. Thank You Notes

Thank you cards are a way to express your gratitude to the people you appreciate.

Encourage your kids to write thank you cards for gifts, kind gestures or any positive moments. When your kids focus on positive aspects of their lives, they can learn to appreciate what they have.

3. Volunteering

Do you want to teach your kids about gratitude and empathy? Get them involved in volunteer work.

When your kid does volunteer work, they get to understand the effects of their actions on society. In this instance, helping other people.

Through this, they can develop an understanding of the needs of others. They can learn to help others in a positive way.

Your kid can also cultivate a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their lives. Because through this they believe that they are contributing back to their society.

In general, guiding children to have a sense of gratitude takes time and consistency. By using these methods, you can assist your kid in cultivating gratitude.  Which in turn will help them cultivate a more optimistic and appreciative mindset. Both, towards themselves and those around them.

Dealing with Challenges

It is very important for your kids to have a positive outlook on life.

You can help your kids do this by teaching them about gratitude.

It can be quite difficult to teach gratitude to your child at times, you can face challenges and obstacles.. Here are a few common challenges you might face and how to resolve them;;

Teach Kids to Be Grateful#1: Ungrateful Moments

Your children can sometimes be ungrateful when they’re feeling upset or frustrated.

In situations like these, you must remain calm and avoid overreacting.

Seize the opportunity to educate your child about the significance of gratitude. You can do this by gently reminding them about the things they possess.

Encourage them to shift their focus away from the negative aspects of their lives. Tell them that you are there for them.

This will certainly help them calm down.

Teach Kids to Be Grateful#2: Patience and Consistency

One of the most common challenges you can face is not seeing any results.

Teaching children gratitude requires time and patience.

It is very important for you to remain consistent. You will not see results right away. Incorporate gratitude in your lives and become a role model.

For instance you can motivate your children to maintain a gratitude journal. You can also engage in discussions about gratitude during family meals.

Through these practices, your child can learn to value gratitude. They can also cultivate a positive outlook on life. It will take time but I assure you, it will happen.

To summarize, gratitude requires a combination of patience, consistency and adeptness. By using these techniques, you can help your child develop a positive outlook on life.

Measuring Progress

Teaching kids about gratitude is a journey that demands patience and consistency.

It is important for you as a parent to measure their progress from time to time. You need to know if the methods you are using are working or not.

In this section, I have prepared two ways for you to assess your child’s progress.

Here they are:

Behavioral Changes

One way to measure your child’s progress is to observe behavioral changes.

  • Do they express gratitude by saying “Thank you”?
  • Do they appreciate their belongings?
  • Are they becoming more inclined to share with others?

If these factors are true for your child then they are cultivating a sense of gratitude.

Additionally, you can also maintain a record of these changes in a gratitude journal.

In this journal, you basically record moments when your child expresses gratitude. It can be a thank you or composing a thank you message.

This practice helps both you and your child in measuring progress. It can also serve as motivation to persist in cultivating gratitude.

Emotional Growth

You can also measure your child’s progress by observing how their emotional state is evolving.

To put it simply, you have to observe things like;

  • Do they seem happier and more fulfilled with what they have?
  • Do they show an inclination to complain?
  • Do they have tantrums when things aren’t going their way?

These indications can help you determine if your child is experiencing growth.

You can also encourage development by practicing gratitude yourself. That is because children learn through observation. When you engage in acts of gratitude, your child will follow in your footsteps.

On another note, you should also engage in conversations with your child. Be their friend. Ask them about their day, their problems and emotions. Through these efforts you can support your child’s growth and mindset.

In general, measuring progress is important when teaching children the value of gratitude. You as a parent can gauge your child’s development and well-being.

There are two ways. You can do it by observing changes in behavior and emotional growth. Or you can see if they are developing a mindset for a contentful and meaningful life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective ways to instill gratitude in children?

You have the power to teach their children about gratitude through their behavior.

You can become a role model by practicing gratitude yourself. You can show appreciation and encourage them to practice gratitude. Saying “thank you” or expressing gratitude for things can make a big impact. It’s a simple thing.

You can also inspire your children to write thank you notes. Encourage them to keep a journal.

Can gratitude be taught to children of all ages?

Yes! Absolutely. You can teach gratitude to children of all ages.

Young kids can learn to show gratitude by saying “thank you.” They can also create drawings that represent things they appreciate.

As  your child grows older, they can engage in activities like writing thank you notes or maintaining a gratitude journal. These activities can greatly benefit them.

What are some age-appropriate gratitude activities for kids?

To instill a sense of gratitude in your child, you can motivate them to create drawings of things they appreciate.  You can also encourage your child to express thanks when someone does something kind. As your child grows older, they can find value in activities like thank you notes or gratitude journals.

Additionally, you also foster a sense of empathy and gratitude.

You can do this by encouraging your child to engage in volunteer work or contribute to causes.

How can parents model gratitude for their children?

You as a parent can lead by example.

Demonstrate gratitude by expressing appreciation for the things you’re thankful for. Additionally, you can encourage your children to show gratitude by saying “thank you.”

You can also encourage them to take the time to write thank you notes. You can foster gratitude and empathy in your child by involving them in volunteer work or charity.

What are the benefits of teaching children to be grateful?

By teaching your kid the value of gratitude, you can change their perspective on life. You can enhance their connections with others and promote happiness. Additionally children who are grateful tend to show compassion and empathy towards others.

How can teachers incorporate gratitude into their lesson plans?

Teachers have the opportunity to integrate gratitude into their teaching strategies by motivating students to express appreciation for the things they’re thankful for.

This can be achieved through engaging activities, like composing thank you letters, maintaining a gratitude diary or participating in community service.

Additionally teachers can set an example by showing gratitude towards their students and acknowledging their work.


petri maatta, CEO
Petri Maatta

Petri Maatta is a photographer, filmmaker, and webdesigner who has been working for over 20 years in the creative industry. Fascinated by manifesting for business reasons, Petri was determined to find out what it took to create success. He started his career with seven years of business failures before he found success by learning about manifesting from a mentor with a Fortune 500 company. Today Petri shares his knowledge through DreamMaker courses designed to help people change their businesses and lives while living on their terms.

Read My Story here.

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