An Attitude of Gratitude with your Children

in Relationships & Family


Recently I caught my son saying, “Boy, Dad has not given us our allowance in like 3 months. I know he just gave us $20 for allowance, but shouldn’t it be like $60?”

My initial reaction was outrage. No, I did not go off on my son. But, I did look at this as a teachable moment.  "An Attitude of Gratitude"

As much as I think my husband & I have done a great job teaching our children to be grateful for all they have, it’s a constant work in progress.  I explained to my son that first and foremost allowance is not a given. As much as I appreciate what he does around the house, his chores don’t warrant that allowance. We are quite generous and really think our kids BIG job is school. So, for him to think he is “owed” that money disturbs me. I asked him if he understood what I meant and he nodded.

This is not my first rodeo, I know this will be an open discussion for a long time.

I’m thinking about this subject a lot. Not only because it is November and we are diving into “Gratitude” but also, Christmas is coming. I want each hard earned present to mean something to my children.


Is that a pipe dream? Will they ever truly have An Attitude of Gratitude?


What do you think? Do you struggle with this same subject with your kids?



Leave a Comment


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

LauLau81 December 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I remember when I was young, my parents always teach me how to be grateful to everything. That is why I grew up valuing the importance of gratitude.

Evelyn Parham December 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm

My daughter isn’t old enough to understand this as of yet, but I hope when the time comes she gets it.

I think children will learn the attitude of gratitude. It just takes a little time. I remember when I was a kid, I wasn’t too grateful for much and didn’t understand what others went through so that I could have certain things. As I got older, I understood things a lot better.

C_Linnell December 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm

That is a great reminder Evelyn. I was probably exactly the same way. It’s the molding of clay right? Constant tweaking and shaping until you are one day done. @Evelyn Parham

LauLau81 December 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Making your children used to saying thank you for every little thing they receive will teach them to be grateful in the future… Being grateful will let them know the true meaning of gratitude.

C_Linnell December 2, 2011 at 11:33 am

Oh, that is a great point. I am so thankful that my kiddos use that word a lot! Thanks for your comment. @LauLau81

mattkinsella November 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I think gratitude from children today is rare and you should definitely keep up the conversation with your son and eventually he will understand.

Christina Linnell November 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I have to agree with you Matt. It is rare but I don’t think it is a lost cause. We are still fighting for our children’s manners and proper behavior. Thanks for your comment!

C_Linnell December 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Thanks for your comment Matt. I do agree that it is rare now a days. I think like everything else, the more we instill it the stronger the message will be. @mattkinsella

Charlotte74 November 29, 2011 at 3:37 am

I think you are right to treat this as a teachable moment.

Christina Linnell November 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Charlotte! With kids there are so MANY teachable moments it kinda becoming overwhelming at time. However, this one is too big to pass up. Thanks for your thoughts.

C_Linnell December 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Charlotte! I am so sorry my comment never showed up to you. Darn system. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s just so exhausting ’cause every moment is a teachable moment. Ah! @Charlotte74

BuySellWordpress November 28, 2011 at 8:48 am

This problem is very urgent for the majority of parents. And it is very important to explain everything to children carefully. It shouldn’t be done because you just told it to them. It should be done because they understand it and wish it

Christina Linnell November 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I agree! It would be a lot easier if they would just do something because we told them. However, it lasts longer if they truly understand the importance~!

ExpatDoctorMom November 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Absolutely we struggle with this! And good for you for taking the time to teach instead of going off. If we could only not take their behavior so personally, it would be so easy, lol! We limit toys/gifts to Birthdays and Christmas and have implemented a small allowance for chores and and even smaller amount $2.00 for spending money at the corner store. Our son is now saving it all to buy toys. He even had a friend sell 10 of his toys at a local sale and then took the money to buy new toys. Love that he is getting that things are not free and how money works. It doesn’t stop him from asking for additional funds for when he does something good; like is nice to his sister, lol but, no!

C_Linnell November 28, 2011 at 6:45 am

I actually love the idea of a smaller allowance to have them work for it even more, great suggestion. So glad I am not alone in this struggle! @ExpatDoctorMom

Raj-PB November 27, 2011 at 5:36 am

Children take many things for granted, and I guess we need to make them understand that nothing in this world is really free and they are always entrusted with a certain responsibilities when they are given something.

C_Linnell November 28, 2011 at 6:47 am

Great point! The thing that is exhausting is it is an ongoing constant task. They know but then “forget”, ugh!@Raj-PB

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