• Valerie

How to Grow Gratitude in my Child’s Heart



So, this week is Thanksgiving…insert Jaws music…


Despite the consistency of this holiday, growing thankfulness in my kid’s hearts is a struggle. For many years now my kids put together a thankful tree in November.

Every day my kids write something on a dye-cut leaf that they are thankful for.



What’s on the list for this year?


Most of what makes it on my kids’ leaves is very superficial and at times material stuff. Though my kids love this family tradition and are usually the ones reminding me to hand them their leaves to write on, I wonder what the best ways are to teach thankfulness and gratitude.


#1 it starts with us Parents

How we respond to the good and the bad of our day will be mirrored by our kids as their go-to response. So teaching ourselves to have a gratitude journal, write thanks letters, and respond to our kids with thankfulness will be repeated by our little ones.


#2 Gratitude Walk

This doesn’t have to be something you add to your family to-do list. But find ways to incorporate thankfulness and gratitude as you’re driving to and fro as you’re picking up toys with your kids, etc.


#3 Thankful Alphabet

I’m always on the lookout for a fun game to play on road trips, and the ABC game is always a fun way to pass the time. But what if we turn the classic alphabet game into a Thankful Alphabet game? Where for each letter do we have to say something we are thankful for that starts with that letter? Sounds like a challenge. I’ll let you know how it goes. I already know what my Q answer will be….QUIET….




#4 Volunteer

This one can be hard for those with young kids since most charities have a volunteer age limit. But you will be surprised at what kids can serve if you look in your area.


#5 Donate or Sponsor a Kid

Exposing our kids to those in our world who are less fortunate is a great way to build thankfulness. Whether that is through donating to charities or sponsoring a child. We’ve sponsored three kids through Compassion International Sponsor a Child - Compassion International It has always been amazing to hear my kids pray for these kids and grow in their understanding of poverty and privilege.



Gratitude is what we want is what we have.


How are you teaching gratitude and thankfulness to your kids?





Other Resources:

How to Teach Gratitude & Activities for Kids | Children's Bureau

How to Teach Children Gratitude