Lifestyle & Parenting

5 Ways To Instill Gratitude In Your Children

March 13, 2024

We give so much to our children and yet we want them to remain grateful and humble too. This isn’t always an easy balance. However, there are a few simple ways you can help teach appreciation to little ones. Whether they sacrifice something or give something back, these exercises in gratitude will help your children (as well as yourself) be more thankful. And your whole family will benefit, too. —Jennifer Cox

Do Something Nice for Someone Else

Ask your child who they think has really made a difference in their life, or someone who they think could use a pick-me-up. Maybe it’s the bus driver or crossing guard, a teacher, a coach, or an elderly neighbour. Ask your child to draw them a picture or make them a small greeting card, and then make sure they are the ones who deliver it. Don’t be surprised if they want to keep paying it forward again and again.


It’s not always easy to get rid of excess at home, but when you frame it as helping someone else, you’d be surprised how willing kids can be to part with certain things. Perhaps your child can donate their old toys or clothes they no longer wear to someone in need, or excess craft supplies that could go to a school or daycare. Not only are they helping someone in need, but in the process, they’ll also see all the wonderful things they have in their own lives. It’s a great lesson on perspective (and it helps keep things at home organized—another plus).


There are lots of ways you and your family can volunteer and make a difference in your community. Whether it’s going door-to-door to collect nonperishable food for a local food bank, making sandwiches for an organization like Bread & Beyond, or visiting the elderly in a nursing home, there’s always a way to give back together. If you have older children, task them with finding a need you can all help with.

Get to Know an Organization

Research a local charity or community group that is making a difference. Learn about how they got started, how long they have been around, how they help, and where help is needed. Organizations such as Breakfast Club of Canada, for example, are always looking for volunteers as well as donations. Once you become more familiar with a charity, you’ll likely be more inclined to find a way to give back and help them out.

Give Something Up

Teaching gratitude is all about perspective—your child likely has many necessities, but they probably have niceties too. Could they give one of those up for a week, like screentime? When they do, they’ll come to realize just how lucky they are to have such luxuries. And it may help them learn to be more appreciative in everyday life.


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