6 Tips for Teaching Your Kids to Be Thankful

Published on November 21, 2019

  1. Saying “Thank You” and Meaning It!

The first step of course is to incorporate “thank you’s” into your kids daily word choice, but more than that it’s important for them to understand what they are saying. Words are just words, especially if you have to constantly tell them to say it. 

Talk to your kids about what it means to have the people they love and appreciate in their life and that it makes these people happy when you say “thank you.” Smiling and showing gratitude 

for their “thank you’s” shows them the positivity that can come from saying it, too!

2. One Good Thing – Focus on the Positive

Everyday before bed, ask your kids what the best part of their day was. If they can think about at least one good thing that happened everyday, they will see more clearly the goodness in their lives and be thankful for those things that bring them joy.

3. Surprise Them

When you give kids too many choices, they are always going to change their mind, and want something better. If you ask where they want to go for a weekend getaway and leave it open ended, you might end up being expected to take them to a magical castle in a foreign land or they won’t be happy. 

However, if you surprise them with a trip to see a movie they’ve had their eye on or a trip to a park (like Funderland!) when they aren’t expecting it, they will see it as a gift instead of an entitlement. 

4. Monitor Their Media 

Did you know that over $17 billion dollars is spent annually advertising to children? Kids these days are bombarded with ads to make them think they need the newest toy, leading them always wanting more and not being thankful for what they have. Limit their screen time, and when possible choose games or apps with less or no advertising. 

5. Lead By Example

This one is as simple as it sounds! Treat others with kindness and gratitude, and your kids will pick that up like a dry sponge!

6. House Chores for Everyone

Without chores, children just can’t understand what it takes to run a household– they will take clean laundry and dishes for granted. Have you heard the joke about the husband who puts things on a “magical coffee table” and the next day the items are always put away/cleaned, when we all know the magic was Mom taking care of the house? 

This seems silly for an adult to believe, but for children it’s not that far fetched. When they have to work for the things that make up their lives – clothes to wear, clean rooms to live in, dishes to eat their meals off – they will appreciate these things much more! Responsibility and Team work are the anti-entitlement!