17 Effective Ways to Teach Gratitude to Children


We all want to raise grateful kids, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Telling them to say ‘thank you’ and instilling thankfulness are two very different things. In this fast-paced world, driven by instant gratification, parents should make sure that children always count their blessings.

Here are 17 small yet effective ways by which you can inculcate gratitude among children.

  1. Remind them– Create visual reminders and hang them on the refrigerator, windows, etc. to remind them to say ‘thank you’.
  2. Remember the giver– When children receive presents, parents should talk to them about the person who gave the presents so that children learn to focus more on the giver rather than the gift.
  3. Role-play– Role play with stuffed animals or dolls using polite words.
  4. Take turns– At dinner time, take turns sharing the best things about your day.
  5. Buy things in moderation– Don’t shower children with lots of gifts. Let them learn to appreciate what they have.
  6. Love thy neighbour– Prepare some small treats likes cakes and cookies and deliver them to the neighbours.
  7. Pitch-in– Let children contribute in the household chores. When they help, they will learn to appreciate how much efforts parents put in to run the house.
  8. Thank You notes– Keep handwritten notes ready for expressing gratitude. Let children recognise and appreciate those who have done something for them.
  9. Gratitude journal– Pre-teens and Teens can maintain a gratitude journal, writing about the things they are thankful for.
  10. Make a ‘Thank You’ video– A video is a creative way to appreciate someone.
  11. Help others– Help others without being asked. Make it at least once a day.
  12. Create a gratitude photo book– Help children click pictures of all the things they are thankful about and let them create a photo journal.
  13. Look at the bright side– There are times when we all feel down and children are no exception. Try to show them ‘the good’ in all situations.
  14. Set an example– Children learn not by what you say but by what you do. If parents show gratitude in small day-to-day things, children follow their example.
  15. Volunteer– Teach children to ‘give back’. They can volunteer at animal shelters, help elderly neighbours carry their bags, etc. You can make service a family activity as well.
  16. Donate– Encourage them to donate things such as old clothes, books, bags, etc. This will build philanthropic habits in their young minds.
  17. Make a Gratitude Jar– Children can put small notes inside a jar mentioning the things they are grateful for. These notes can be taken out and read anytime especially when children are feeling upset.

let’s connect