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Best 9 Ways to Teach Gratitude to Toddlers

Best 9 Ways to Teach Gratitude to Toddlers
Best 9 Ways to Teach Gratitude to Toddlers

Teaching Gratitude is an excellent way to increase happiness and improve life satisfaction. It has been shown to have several benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and increasing self-esteem, reducing anxiety, and strengthening relationships. 

Many people find it challenging to be grateful for the good things in life. It can be hard to focus on the positives when we are constantly focused on our problems. However, systematically  this makes easier to shift our focus and find joy in the little things.

One way to teach gratitude is by creating a gratitude journal. This is a journal where you record everything you are grateful for each day. By writing down everything you are thankful for, you will develop a more positive outlook on life.

What is Gratitude?

It is the practice of being grateful for what you have, good or bad. It can be challenging to be grateful when things are going well, but it’s important to remember that even during tough times, there are things to be thankful for. It can help you shift your focus from negative to positive experiences and improve your overall well-being.

Why is it important to learn it?

The practice of gratitude has been shown to have several benefits. It can increase happiness, improve relationships, reduce stress, and improve physical health. It can also help you focus and think more clearly. In short, it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself! Here are some reasons why you should start practicing gratitude today:

  •  Makes you happier. Studies have shown that more grateful people are happier than those who are less grateful. What’s more, taking time each day to be grateful for what you have effectively combat stress.
  •  Improves your relationships. When you show your loved ones that you appreciate them, it can strengthen the relationship. Additionally, being grateful will make them happy too!

Importance of Gratitude in Children

It is essential for children because it helps them feel good about themselves, their lives, and the world around them. When children are grateful for what they have, they are more likely to enjoy life and be happier. 

It also encourages positive behavior and can lead to a sense of satisfaction and well-being. In short, it is suitable for kids!

How to Teach Gratitude to Toddlers?

In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly important for children to learn to be grateful for what they have. It  has been linked to happiness, positive thinking, and better physical health. 

There are many ways to teach gratitude in a toddler’s life, but one of the simplest is through story time. Children who hear stories centered on gratitude understand that being happy doesn’t require things or people always to be perfect. They start to see the world in a more positive light, and this can carry over into their own lives

Teach your child to say “thank you.”

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve mood and mental well-being, increase happiness levels, and create a more positive outlook on life. Teaching your child to say “thank you” can not only make them happier, but it can also help build good character. 

Model a grateful attitude:

 It’s a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that involves recognizing and honoring what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t have. And according to recent studies, teaching young children about gratitude can seriously boost their moods and behavior. 

So how can you start teaching your toddler about gratitude? Start by modeling a grateful attitude yourself. When you’re feeling down about something, take a minute to reflect on all the good things in your life. Notice the people or things who have helped you along the way. Thank them sincerely, then tell them what you appreciate about them. This simple exercise will help your toddler see the world more positively.

Point out the simplest pleasures in life

Teaching gratitude to toddlers is a great way to start because they are visual learners. Point out the simplest pleasures in life and have your toddler repeat what you say. For example, when your toddler sees his favorite toy being played with by someone else, tell him, “Look!”Another kid got to play with your toy!”

When he sees a blade of grass or a flower blooming, tell him, “See how beautiful this world is?” “It’s full of so many wonderful things.” Having your child learn to appreciate all the small things in life will make him happier and more content overall.

Always look for the silver lining:

When you start teaching your toddler about gratitude, give them some examples to illustrate the concept. Ask them to share something they are grateful for every day. This could be something small like getting breakfast in bed or more extensive like having a loving family.

If you notice that your toddler is dealing with difficult emotions, encouraging them to think about what they are grateful for can help them feel better. Helping toddlers develop a healthy mindset is essential for their long-term development and well-being.

Appreciate and compliment your child

Being grateful for what you have reduces stress levels, boosts your immune system, and makes you more resilient in tough times. 

When you compliment your toddler, it shows appreciation for their effort, intelligence, or uniqueness. It encourages them to do their best and feel good about themselves. It also increases social connectedness and self-esteem.

Don’t give in to their demands.

Toddlers can be demanding and challenging to deal with, but teaching them how to be grateful for everything they have is essential. 

  • When your toddler makes a demand, wait to give in. Instead, wait until they have finished their sentence or shown signs of being done before responding. This will help them learn how to care for themselves and set boundaries.
  •  When your toddler seems unhappy or doesn’t have what they want, encourage them to reflect on what they’re grateful for. This can help shift their negative to a positive mindset, making them happier overall.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of small moments of gratitude. Every day, try and find something – big or small – that you’re grateful for.

Let them help with chores

Teaching gratitude to toddlers can be a fun, interactive way to learn about taking care of their needs and managing their emotions. Letting toddlers help with chores or tasks can also teach them the value of teamwork. Here are some tips for teaching gratitude to toddlers: 

  • Start by teaching your toddler the basics of thank you. Show them how to say thank you by demonstrating, then have them practice saying thanks aloud. Encourage them to say “thank you” when they receive something, such as a kiss from mom or dad after lunch in the cafeteria. 
  • Make sure that your toddler experiences are filled with positive reinforcement. When they do something praiseworthy (like helping with chores), tell them how proud you are of them and reward them (like a hug).

Help them give to others.

Gratitude is a powerful tool that can help people give to others. Here are some ways to teach it and help people give to others: 

  • Teach gratitude in your own life. Start by being grateful for the good things in your life, even small ones. This will force you to be more observant and appreciate what is happening around you. 
  • Make a list of things you are grateful for every day. This cannot be easy initially, but it will become easier with practice. When you start to notice things you are grateful for, it will be easier to give because you will have already started with something positive! 
  • Give gifts that represent the things you are grateful for.


Teaching gratitude can be a powerful way to help people feel happier and more connected. Encouraging people to think about all the good things in their life can help them connect with happiness on a deeper level. This can lead to improvements in mood and well-being. So, to create happier and healthier people, start by teaching them how to be grateful.

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Emiley Walker Author & Writer | Parenting and BabyCare at Mamaadoptation About I'm a passionate writer committed to using storytelling to support and uplift families on their fostering and kinship care journeys. At Mama Adoption, I create engaging content that empowers parents and caregivers navigating the joys and challenges of raising amazing children. Expertise Childcare Parent coaching Parenting Attachment parenting Parent-child Relationships Baby Products Newborn Baby Knowledge of different parenting approaches (e.g., authoritative, permissive, authoritarian) Strategies for managing and modifying children's behavior communication techniques Understanding child psychology Specialized knowledge in supporting children with disabilities Highlights Certified in Family dynamics, Parenting guide, Effective communication skills. Education Emily Walker holds a Master's degree in parenting guidelines from Air university where she cultivated her expertise in understanding child development, effective communication, and family dynamics. Her academic journey ignited a lifelong passion for unraveling the complexities of parenting and helping others on their parenting journeys. Experience Emily Walker's professional journey is marked by a wealth of experience: Nurse (RN) - Pediatrics or Mother-Baby Unit Babysitter Authorship: Emily has authored numerous articles, essays, and books on parenting guidelines, all crafted with a blend of academic knowledge and practical wisdom. Parenting Workshops: She has conducted workshops and seminars, both online and in-person, providing parents with actionable tools and strategies. Consulting: Emily has worked as a parenting consultant, offering personalized guidance to families facing unique challenges. Media Contributions: Her insights have been featured in various publications, including parenting magazines and television programs. Emily's Approach to Parenting: Emily advocates for: Positive Discipline: Promoting non-punitive methods for teaching and guiding children. Open Communication: Fostering open and respectful communication within families. Child-Centered Parenting: Prioritizing the well-being and development of the child while supporting parents in their roles. Thank you for visiting Emily Walker's author page. Join her on a journey of discovery and empowerment as she guides you through the fascinating world of parenting guidelines. Together, let's nurture the next generation with love, knowledge, and understanding.

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