How do you teach a child to be grateful?

How do you teach a child to be grateful I am trying so hard to teach my 7 year old how to just say thank you for the things he gets and be grateful for the things he gets instead of complaining about what he didn’t get with what he got.


I have never been able to get my kids too much, especially when we were homeless, so those experiences were very humbling for my kids and made them realize though we don’t have much we could still have much less. They are very appreciative and grateful children. Times have been hard but they are better now.

Make him work for it. Give him age appropriate chores that he can earn small dollar amounts for doing, then he is learning to earn what he wants.


This would depend if the child gets everything he wants or if he only gets what he really wants in special occasions. If a child gets something every time you go into a store it will become expected. If he gets something because he behaved in public it becomes expected. If he had to wait he’d be grateful

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Stop getting him stuff and explain to him when he is complaining abt not getting something that when he can start showing gratitude for other stuff you may feel intrigued to start getting him things again


Lead by example. They copy more than you know

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Make it a daily thing as a whole family, things like at dinner together saying what each of you is thankful / grateful for. Kmart has some great mindfulness cue cards to help practice gratitude. Model it as an adult and they will join in. Like others have said use chores or similar to earn pocket money to buy himself items he really wants. Constantly promoting for “thankyou” and have him say why he is thankful not just “thanks” eg thanks for my present, thanks for getting me a drink…

You can’t teach anyone to be grateful. Just saying “Thank you” isn’t being grateful. It’s just polite.

Adults don’t like receiving things they don’t like. Why should a child?

Do you want your child to be able to speak for themselves when they’re older, or do you want them to spend their whole life accepting things, behaviors, attitudes they don’t want? There’s nothing wrong with asking for what we want, and there’s nothing wrong with having standards.

Also you can’t control your child’s feelings. If your child wants something you can’t or won’t give them, just express empathy and set a boundary like, "I know you feel disappointed that you can’t have x. That isn’t something I can afford right now. " and then let them feel what they feel. It’s ok to be disappointed. It’s even ok to complain. That doesn’t mean you have to give in.

Begin praying together and thanking God for the many things you have daily. Get him a gratitude journal and each day have him spend 5 minutes in the morning and evening saying and writing what he’s thankful for. When you get a close up parking space thank God out loud for it, etc. When he complains gently point out how he can be grateful. I don’t like this truck. I think it’s neat! I love it. Let’s thank God you have it because some children don’t have any toys. We should put it in You gratitude journal. Make sure he’s hearing you be grateful and not complaining. Also make sure you’re not buying him things he doesn’t need. Children need attention more than material items.


Probably should’ve started teaching the child from the beginning. Kids act the way they are shown and allowed to act. If you keep giving him things when he’s being ungrateful, he’s not going to learn any other way. Stop getting him what he wants. If he wants something, he can earn it by doing chores. There are plenty of things a 7 year old can do as chores. My 4 year old does chores. Like feeding the cats, cleaning up her room, doing work books/learning time. You definitely need to put the behavior to a hault before it gets worse.


Doesn’t appreciate what gets or says thank you for what gets take it away .if want something from store remind of that and don’t need or deserve if can’t appreciate what got or gets. Remind or show that he’s lucky to have what has or gets where some people don’t have anything.

If he isn’t happy with what he got take it away and give it to some little boy who would like it. Eventually your kid will smarten up and learn to appreciate what he gets or he gets nothing.

It’s not about “things” or “giving him things” or “taking things away if he’s ungrateful.”

That will create a child who learns how to ACT grateful. the goal is for him to be thankful, not just to say thank you.

Create opportunities for him to be generous to others. Encourage him to give. It feels wonderful to give. Inherently teaching gratefulness. Model generosity for him. Get involved with selfless giving projects. Random acts of kindness. Some things with recognition, and some things purposely given anonymously, so he can just feel the generosity without the gratification. The rewards is simply that we know we helped another person. Show him strategic movies and shows that allow him to see what a different life is like for others. Harry Potter lived under the stairs for example. Little House on the Prairie highlights families who didn’t even have electricity yet. Do something for the homeless. Adopt an angel at Christmas. Do something for the local dog shelter. Volunteer as a family for habitat for humanity, or Together We Rise (a charity for foster kids.)

Create opportunities for him to give to others, and he will inherently learn gratefulness. When you see the suffering of others, and you’re given the ability to help them, you really understand what you have.


dont give him anything anymore :woman_shrugging:t2: when he starts asking y he getting things tell him its because everytime hed complain

At 7 he should already be great full it shouldn’t be something your having to learn him, to me he sounds like a spoiled brat

Please and thank you should have been taught from a much younger age its the basics… if your giving your child whatever they want whenever they want then you need to stop as he will learn nothing and you will be fighting a losing battle you need to show him how fortunate he actually is. Show him the Christmas wishes of children who would otherwise have woke on Christmas morning with no gift at all had it not been for kind strangers. Get in contact with a group/charity who help people who have fallen on hard times… some of the most humble people are those who have nothing. And people who just give give give to their children raise self entitled humans who believe the whole world owe them anything and everything

VeggieTales Madame Blueberry is a cute show and my 4 year old talks about and repeats it regularly.

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Thank you notes! My kids had to when they could write. Before they were told to say “thank you”. You don’t have to like a gift to show gratitude. They need to realize gifts are GIFTS. You don’t get to choose what deserves a thank you. You say thank you for all gifts.

My 2 and 3 year old say :please, thank you, no thank you, you’re welcome, bless you: completely by themselves. We always emphasize how thoughtful gifts are and how important it is to give thanks. 7 is still quite young to fully grasp the concept. Just teach by example.

Keep doing what you’re doing, sometimes it feels like their not listening but eventually they do get it.

Model it. For every single thing, express gratitude in a way that the child can see or hear. Use the word grateful daily and often.


I’ve found with my 8 year old her having her “own money” to spend has helped quite a bit. I may give her $10 here and there for doing extra chores or just because. So when we go somewhere and she wants something extra she buys it herself. It has helped her understand the value of money and what things cost. Just an example, we went to dollar general for me to grab toilet paper and she went down the toy aisle and spent probably 15 mins going over prices in her head and adding up tax and weighing out her options because she only had $3 to spend so she ended up getting a pack of valentines stickers. She did ask for me to pitch in and cover the difference which sometimes I do but also sometimes I say no so she can learn. She’s not perfect with it but ever since I started letting her have a little spending cash she has definitely started understanding that things are expensive and we can’t always get everything we want and to be grateful for what we do have.

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Start simple…roof over your head, food in your belly. Explain not everybody has this. Also whenever they receive anything, bday, Christmas, etc. wait to see if they say thank you. If not, prompt them to do it. I had my kiddo writing thank you notes from about 7-8 years old. We don’t live close by his dad’s side of the family, so he got packages/cards in the mail. He didn’t usually fuss about if but the few times he didn’t want to do it, I said ok, let’s send that gift back. He then went ahead and did it. He is 17 now and grateful for everything and is now a very giving person himself. Best of luck.

Teach work ethic the rest follows.he wants a certain toy ect earn it.also don’t give in excess.

Manners and routines need to be taught from the beginning.

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I started at the age of 5. First anytime they would want something they say please and when they receive the item they say thank you and if they don’t, they have to wait until they say it.

Take it back I bet he be gracious then and tell him if he don’t start being gracious he won’t have anything in life

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sit him down and make him watch videos of starving kids in Africa or any videos of poor kids in other parts of the world and what they have to endure on a daily basis. I did this to my kids when they were young and felt entitled.

I’m struggling with the same thing with my 7 year old. He actually made me cry on Christmas day. Definitely following this post because I am in the same boat!!

We as an adults can still struggle with this at times. Some kids get it earlier and some take longer. Create opportunities for him to help you with something and then complain about it. We made mini pizzas and I had my child create mine. After I was like, you put to much sauce, I don’t like this or this on it, ugh this isn’t what I wanted. I then asked her how it made her feel that I didn’t like her food? I then explained that I did like it and I was thankful for her help. I explained that I was trying to show the difference between grateful and ungrateful. We worked on it daily and as she grew so did her understanding.

We are a family that learns hands on and by examples so this works for us, maybe not for you. Don’t come after me, everyone has their own way.

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You start teaching them younger than 7. My daughter started teaching her kids at a very young age, as soon as they started talking. Never had a problem saying please, thank you, and you’re welcome. The grandkids are 13 and 6.

Living the way you want him to live is the best way to teach your child.
Constantly correcting will make them turn a deaf ear to all the harping.

Do some charity work together

You start when they are younger than 7.

When ungreatful about what he got take it then. Only have to do that a couple times

It’s alot easier to start from toddler (ik that doesn’t help right now) i taught my kids from the time they started talking to always say thank you, pls, and excuse me. Do they always? No, i do have to remind them at times, but i do get a lot of compliments on how polite they are. It won’t happen over night, but id say u gotta keep talking to him. Explain how ppl feel wen theu give something to someone or do something nice for someone. And how it makes them feel good wen they are shown gratitude. U could even switch the script and have him start doing kind things for others so he can see how good it feels to be told thank u n shown appreciation. Real life experience seems to have a quicker and bigger impact on kids imo. They understand much faster when they experience it for themselves. At home, any time u do something for him, make sure u remind him to say thank u. U give him breakfast or supper? He says thank u. He asks for a snack or to plau a certain game and u let him, he says thank you. Remind him how not all kids get the nice things he does and he should appreciate it. Itll take time and trial n error but ull find a way that works n will teach him❤️ kids are kids and even tho they have such big hearts, they can also be very selfish cuz their brains aren’t mature enough to think about how things effect others. It takes time to learn. So just keep on him. Reminding him. Keep having those conversations with him and show him how appreciation feels. Like u ask him to take out the trash, make sure u thank him. Any time he does anything like that say thank u. It’ll make him feel good and will eventually start showing others that same appreciation

My oldest was around the same age when she had shopkins phase. Wen ppl asked her what she wanted for her birthday she told them all the same thing. Shopkins lol. So, besides a couple outfits, every toy she got was shopkins. She ended up with a big shopkins collection. Different set ups along with a bunch of the lil shopkins themselves. She was excited wen she was opening her gifts. But the next day, she was so disappointed cuz u can only do so much with shopkins and she didn’t get any other toys. So she was mad “no one got me anything else!!!” I had to shut that down right away. I told her i understand disappointment, but she was the one who asked for shopkins from everyone. She didn’t ask for anything else, so wen family was shopping for her all they were thinking about was what she told them she liked which was shopkins. They bought only those because they thought thats all she wanted. She could feel disappointed because lets face it, u cant control how u feel, but she couldn’t blame anyone else because they didn’t have to buy her any gifts at all. They bought them cuz they love her n wanted her to be happy and u can’t be mad at ppl for that. She was still upset but she seemed to kind of understand where i was coming from. Kids just get this way from time to time. Its our job to remind them how blessed they are


Yeah then to be specific when saying thank you - and tell them and show them what the item does for them - physical or emotional.

They might not learn it right away, because they are children and growing, but you lay the foundation

Thr only way is to model the behavior that you desire.


Volunteer at a shelter, help feed the homeless, do operation Christmas with the shoe boxes, etc. Show the child that so many people have nothing/less and we need to be grateful.


Stop getting him anything. He’s old enough to do chores , get points. Set points for the item he wants and when said points are reached get him that item(within family price range). When he complains take an item away and donate it.

Just have a conversation with your child. I remember complaining when I was kid that I got something I didn’t want, I got my ass beat later for embarrassing my dad (abusive family). When my first child did this to me it was embarrassing but I held my tongue and later told him “next time just say thank you and move on, and we will handle it later.” It was never a problem with him again. Later I had 2 more children and I would tell them since they were about 3-4 this same thing and neither has ever acted done it. It’s funny though because they will look me in the eye as if to say look mom I’m doing what you told me. :joy:

I used Verucca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as an example when they got greedy or whiny. “Daddy I want an Oompa Loompa NOW!” was then enough to stop them in their tracks. We started out by talking about the character and why she is ungrateful/spoilt. Mine definitely didn’t want to be seen to be like her and wanted to be seen to be more like Charlie.


I once had a buddy that taught his kid the meaning of this:

He bought the 8 year old a very coveted, expensive, highly sought after brand new game to play on their system. When the kid unwrapped it - he screamed and whined and complained he didn’t want it.

The dad, in front of the boy plucked it from his fingers without a word, walked out to the trash bins, threw it in it, and walked back inside with the kid watching from the windows the whole time.

When he came back in: the child now screamed and hollered that he “couldn’t just throw away his presents!” - and tried to retrieve it.

The dad caught him up, smacked his butt, and put him in his room for the day - letting him know since the kid thought of it as trash, that’s where it would stay and that’s what would happen any time he acted spoiled.

To this day: that is the best behaved child I’ve ever met, especially at Christmas and birthdays :joy:

You’re the parent: employ consequences and directives. Lay down the law, and don’t let the kid be in charge. It’s your responsibility to teach them now: bc society absolutely will later, and that use usually involves handcuffs and hard time.