7 Ways To Teach Kids How To Be Thankful

As Thanksgiving rolls around each year, it’s often a reminder of what we’re thankful for. It shouldn’t be a one day deal as we should always be thankful on a daily basis. Weeks or days leading up to the Thanksgiving holidays, schools would start teaching kids what Thanksgiving means, but don’t wait for Thanksgiving. When you teach your kids at a young age on how to be thankful, gratefulness will come naturally to them.

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. – 1 Chronicles 16:8

7 Ways To Teach Kids How To Be Thankful

Be a Role Model

Kids learn from what their parents say and do which is why most parents are cautious with what they say in front of their kids. It can be quite embarrassing when your child starts to mimic you or say things and you realize how much they sound like you. Correct your behavior when they imitate you or when you have done something wrong.

Teach Manners

Not only is it imperative to teach and remind your kids of their manners, parents should always remember their manners and say “Thank you” often or show in other ways their appreciation. Writing thank-you notes may seem old-fashion in a highly digital world, but it goes a long way and it’ll always add a personal touch. Encourage your child to write thank-you notes.

Be Thankful To Your Kids

Showing and saying thanks to your kids when they do something good will help them understand what thank you means. If a child is always on the receiving end, they wouldn’t know what it feels like to give back. Work with gratitude every day and incorporate it into your conversations. Also, when you acknowledge the thankfulness it acts as a reinforcement that it’s been heard and accepted.

Less Is More

Don’t spoil your kids. You have to set limits and you can’t give in to every want they ask for. Kids become less appreciative when you give them everything under the sun. You’re doing them a huge favor, they’ll understand when they’re older, and they’ll be thanking you for sticking to your guns.


Starting donating toys your kids no longer play with or clothes they have outgrown. Your kids can help with this process and they can go with you when you deliver the boxes. This action will encourage your kids to be givers.

Random Acts of Kindness

A neighbor may not notice you raked the leaves from their yard, but it’s still feels good to do something nice for someone without being asked. You may never hear a thank you and that’s ok because you did it because you wanted to. Your child may be confused by this action, but you can explain how it made you feel good doing something for someone else. When you have done something nice for someone, you will have good things happen to you.

Teach Your Kids Through Play

When kids play, they learn. They learn how to share, learn how to be patient, learn how to solve problems (sometimes) and eventually they learn how to be respectful of one another.

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  1. Heather Curlee Novak on October 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I think this is SO GOOD! If kids learn early to be thankful for what they have, it is easier to have the conversation later that they do not need (and shouldn’t really want) EVERYTHING! I’m taking Joyce Meyer’s approach of trying to take VERY good care of what I have, so I ‘deserve’ more…even if I am the one who provides it!

  2. Wick on November 1, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    AMEN to “Donate”! :)

  3. Suzanne Holt on October 22, 2014 at 11:50 am

    What a great list of suggestions. Pinned to my •Gratitude” board.

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