Teach Your Children to be Thankful and Grateful from a Young Age: Foster a Sense of Duty and Selflessness

Many parents give without expecting anything in return, unaware that this blind sacrifice breeds self-centered and ungrateful children.


Why should you teach your child gratitude and not sacrifice unconditionally?

Gratitude is the foundation for people to appreciate what they receive and to give, to be satisfied with life, and to value life. A person without gratitude will only know denial. Denial is not a happy state but a state of constant disappointment. It is a hurt within themselves and it is an attitude of life that is difficult for society to accept.

People who do not cultivate gratitude will find it difficult to be loved and trusted. And they themselves do not find life meaningful.


Parents teach their children gratitude, and first of all, to be grateful to their parents and relatives. But many parents think they sacrifice without expecting anything in return. That’s not entirely true. Sacrifice without expecting a return but it requires in the child the sense of appreciation and gratitude. That feeling is good for both the child and the parents.

There will come a time when we rely on our children. Family is about sharing and developing together, and there will be times when we need each other’s help. Children who do not appreciate their parents will never be able to love their siblings, will not know how to care for and help their parents in their old age. That is a pain!

Suggestions for teaching gratitude to children

Parents set an example for their children: Parents are the first and most important teachers who influence the future of their children. Children will imitate the behavior of their nurturers. Therefore, parents have a great influence on their children. If you nurture gratitude, children will follow.

Encourage children to do household chores: When children do household chores with their parents, they will realize that they also need effort and should not take everything for granted. Children will soon become self-reliant and grateful for their parents’ care and nurturing. And children need to repay the nurturing and education of their parents.


Teach children to help others: Another way to teach children gratitude is for parents to help children assist those who are less fortunate than themselves, and to promote the spirit of helping others as something worthwhile. Small acts such as visiting, supporting the poor, helping the elderly cross the road, helping friends around will teach children the habit of supporting those in difficult circumstances, the disadvantaged in life.

Share with your child about the hardships of parents: Sharing does not mean complaining to your child. You do not necessarily have to hide your hardships. Share that with your child, as long as it is not complaining. Do not let your child see you working too easily, earning money without much effort as they think… From there, the child does not appreciate the effort of the parents.

Do not easily fulfill every demand of the child: Many parents easily “give in” when the child pouts for something. This attitude of parents will affect the nurturing of gratitude in your child. Easy satisfaction will make the child lose gratitude for those who have made what they like, those who have fulfilled them.

Teach children to say thank you: Thank you, sorry, please are the words that parents need to teach children when they are young. Teach children to always thank others when they bring something good to us so that they understand that doing those things is very valuable and children will learn from those good things. Teach children to apologize when they bother or make mistakes with others.

Parents, be patient: Children cannot suddenly absorb the teachings of their parents and they need time to experience, accumulate life experience. So parents be patient and help children develop the habit of appreciation, gratitude for what they receive.

Gratitude sometimes seems like something we give to others but not, a person with gratitude in them will see life as good, when they receive something small, they already feel happy. As for those who do not have gratitude, no matter how much they have, it is never enough and they will always be looking for something bigger, demanding more, and becoming selfish, being alienated. That is why parents need to pay attention in sacrificing for children so that children learn to focus on gratitude.

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