Raising a Grateful Child

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 1


Getting Ready for a Successful Thanksgiving

Gratitude is not something that is an innate human trait.  Because we are all born selfish, it is something that is both caught and taught.  As God designed it, babies spend all of their time having their needs met.  As children get older they are taught to be more and more self-sufficient.  If we are not spending time training our children to have a grateful heart however, they will keep that selfish attitude.

Thanksgiving gives us a wonderful opportunity for training.  We can utilize the theme of this holiday to start our holiday season off with an attitude of gratitude.  One way to do that is by creating an “I’m thankful for list”.  Starting today put a poster board up in a central location of your house.  It can be a plain poster board or you can enlist the help of your children to decorate it.   Parents can take the initiative and begin every day by writing at least one thing on the list that they are thankful for. Make a game of seeing who can come up with the most things.  Keeping the things that we are thankful for in the forefront of our minds will begin to train us, and our children, to have grateful hearts.

For more ideas on teaching gratitude through fun activities check out,



Raising a Grateful Child – Part 12018-11-15T09:27:36-04:00

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 2


Raising a Child with a Grateful Heart By Example

We said yesterday that gratitude is either caught or taught.  The first way that we can train our kids to have a grateful heart is by example.  Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Is this a verse we can use to define our lives?  Gratitude for what we have be given defines a life of contentment.  When our children observe us in our daily life do they see this about us, or do they see someone who is always striving to have the next thing? It is very easy in this culture to feel the need to one up the people around us with the things we have.

One way to live a life of contentment with what God has provided for us is to serve those around us.  If we are serving wherever there is a need then it allows us to be others focused.  Look for places to serve others.  Make it a family event to give back to those around you.  Giving your children the opportunity to serve and to watch you serve is an invaluable lesson.   Look for that opportunity this holiday week!


Raising a Grateful Child – Part 22018-11-15T09:28:22-04:00

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 3


Using Thanksgiving to Prepare for Christmas

We talked yesterday about cultivating a grateful heart by focusing on serving those around us.  A great Thanksgiving table discussion, even with extended family, is beginning to plan your family Christmas service project.  What a great way to show your thanks to God for all He has given your family.

One idea is, with your children you can pick a family to bless this holiday season.  There are many ways to do this.  You could take little things to the family like homemade cookies and card through the season. Have your children put some of their allowance towards picking out a gift for the children of the family. Or if there is something that the family specifically needs you can all pool your money towards that.

Another idea that was done by a family was to wake up and spend part of Christmas day at a local homeless shelter serving. There are also many in nursing facilities that don’t have visitors and would love cookies and smiles from children.  There are countless ideas for serving those around you this holiday season.  Spend part of the Thanksgiving holiday planning for your family’s Christmas service project.

Raising a Grateful Child – Part 32018-11-15T09:28:43-04:00

Raising a Grateful Child | Part 4


Teaching Gratitude Through the Christmas Season

Choose to continue the momentum that you have built training your children in gratitude through the holiday season.  Christmas can be a difficult time for our children to have a grateful heart.  There are millions of dollars being spent this season on advertising to convince us that we need things that we don’t have.

One way to continue the momentum is by serving others.  Continue to create excitement for your family service project.  Look for other places you can serve others and include your children.  Offer to help an older woman or a woman with small children, load their groceries into their car.  Have your children help you babysit for a couple with small children so they can get out during this busy season.  Have your children help bake cookies to take to the neighbors.  There are many ways to serve others we just have to make that our focus and wait for the opportunity.  You can even make that a game with your children, who can spot an opportunity to serve first.

Another thing we can do as a family is continue our “I am grateful for list”. Every night before bed or at the dinner table, each family member can say one thing that they are thankful for.  Continue your focus on gratitude through out the Christmas season.


Raising a Grateful Child | Part 42018-11-15T09:29:08-04:00