Let's see today if we can equip you with a few tools to raise grateful children in an entitled world and help them feel and express gratitude regularly.
5 Ways to Raise Grateful Children in an Entitled World
2 Gratitude Activities
Make a Grateful Sayings poster. Get a piece of poster board and write For This I Am Grateful in big, bold letters across the top. Ask everyone in your family to write (or draw) something they are grateful for on the poster. It can be something big, like getting an A on a test or winning the soccer championship, or something small, like getting to stay up an extra 15 minutes or taking a fun walk with Dad. Ask each family member to put their name or initials under what they write or draw. Keep the poster up all month so that everybody can continue adding to it. By making this a month-long activity, you are showing your family that gratitude is something we can experience every day if we take the time to notice it. At the end of the month, bring the poster to the dinner table and take turns reading aloud what was written or drawn.
Keep a gratitude journal. (see example below) Most of us spend far more time thinking about how we can correct something that has gone wrong, worrying about something that is about to go wrong (or will never go wrong), or simply replaying a failure or setback, than we do basking in what has gone right and being grateful for our everyday blessings.
Next to each positive event that your child lists, have them write a reflection (just a sentence or two) on any of the topics below:
So, How Do We Raise Grateful Children in This Entitled World?
By being grateful parents and examples of gratitude. Encourage grateful thinking. Sharing gratitude every day. Reinforcing grateful behavior with positive benefits. Use visual reminders of gratitude around your home.
Looking for Scripture related to gratitude? Checkout our 36 Verses of Thanksgiving & Praise post.
The 3-Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids
A journal that teaches children to practice gratitude and mindfulness. The 3-Minute Gratitude Journal is a guide to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your children. It is a self exploration journal designed to focus on being thankful for what we have, the big things in life, as well as the simple joys. Each well designed, kid-friendly daily spread contains space to list 3 things they are thankful for, a person who brought them joy and how they felt about their day. If they start each day by writing down 3 things they are thankful for—a family, a favorite teacher, starting a good book—they begin each day on the right note. Doing this daily, will help your child create a habit of focusing on the blessings they have been given! Grab a copy for a friend and let them share the journey together!
How have you been intentional about raising your children to be grateful humans in this atmosphere of entitlement we live in?
12/17/2019 09:16:19 am
Great tips! We so need to expand gratefulness beyond November into everyday life.
12/17/2019 11:38:48 am
I totally agree, Barbara. Gratefulness is something we need to model year-round!
12/17/2019 09:36:51 am
There is so much to be grateful for within the story of Christmas. It's a great privilege to have a part in passing along a heritage of faith and gratitude to our kids and grandkids.
12/17/2019 11:40:39 am
Yes, Michele! We are not only modeling gratitude to our children, now we're on to that next generation—grandchildren. So so so so glad to have a part in this as well!
12/17/2019 10:00:36 am
12/17/2019 11:43:12 am
Thanks, Bev! Yes, I love the activities listed here, and there are so many more I could of listed!!! Living gratitude out in our lives, in real, tangible ways is so important!
12/17/2019 10:19:05 am
This is a great list of ideas. Raising grateful kids in this entitled world is so important. I would rather someone tell me that my kids were grateful for what they gave them or did for them, then tell me how smart or beautiful my kids are.
12/17/2019 11:44:29 am
That is so true, Angela! Me too!
12/18/2019 10:11:47 am
Even though we have worked on this for years, it is still such a struggle with the teen. And if I'm honest, for me too.
12/18/2019 10:23:42 am
I fell it will always be a struggle, Lauren. Very few of us are naturally wired towards gratitude. Keep plugging away at it. Be consistent. Don't give up!
I think taking the kids on a missionary trip or have them volunteer with people that have less, teach them a great deal about gratitude. When my boys saw how other kids live in other countries, they realize how blessed that was the best gratitude lesson they have ever learned.
12/18/2019 04:08:57 pm
Carolina, you are so right! I believe that is one of the greatest ways to ensure gratitude. We actually live in such a wealth bubble here in the states. Most kids have no idea what it's like to live in other countries where they have so very little yet are thankful for it. That will even bring out the gratitude in adults as well! Just to have running water, running HOT water! Electricity that is dependable, to say nothing of Internet and WIFI and cell phone service. Food is readily available to us and we hardly have to work for it. We have a road system that is dependable, most all the time. I know some up in the northeast right now are saying, "What about all this snow and ice?" LOL We are extremely blessed and therefore should be extremely grateful! Great point!
12/18/2019 12:49:11 pm
These are such great ideas! I am very interested in that gratitude journal for kids you linked to! That's a great way to have them take just a couple of minutes to remember to be grateful, and then they have a whole journal to look back on during those hard days.
12/18/2019 04:10:26 pm
Thanks, Jennifer! The gratitude journal is a great way to begin 2020!
12/18/2019 04:15:49 pm
What a great title! It gets to the heart of the world we live in now and the importance of setting not only our children, but ourselves apart from that mindset and practicing gratitude. As children of God, there is always something to be grateful for.
12/18/2019 04:27:05 pm
Thanks, Karen! There truly is always something to be grateful for. I wholeheartedly agree.
12/18/2019 09:43:44 pm
They say we learn the most when we teach. I do miss having my own children around to teach because I learned so much in the process myself. Now those lessons of practicing gratitude have to stick on their own merit in my empty nest.
12/19/2019 07:08:54 am
We do learn the most when we teach, Lisa! I found that out when I taught a Sunday School class some years ago.
12/20/2019 06:16:00 am
Yes, Maree, the gratitude journal is a great way to help the little ones realise all they have to be grateful for. I know, personally, I learn more when I write things down.
12/20/2019 06:16:47 am
That is great, Laurie!
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