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Gratitude isn’t just a sentiment to be expressed over the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are some ideas for cultivating an attitude of gratitude all year long.

How to Cultivate Gratitude All Year Long #gratitude

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Why Gratitude Matters

Gratitude is commanded by God. Gratitude changes the way we think, helps us resist the temptation of sin, and creates contentment. Gratitude allows us to see good in even trying circumstances.

When it comes to our families, gratitude can counteract a culture that fosters a sense of entitlement. We know a grateful child is a joy to be around. A grateful child is an obedient child. A grateful child is a peaceful child.

But grateful children aren’t born; they’re discipled. We can teach our kids the skill of gratitude and we want to make sure we are teaching it all year. Here’s how.

How to Cultivate Gratitude All Year

Begin with you

Our children won’t have an attitude we don’t have ourselves. If you focus on cultivating gratitude in yourself, you are making great strides in encouraging gratitude in your children.

Are you looking for a way to inject fresh gratitude into your time with God? Consider Bible journaling! Ana Willis has created Thanksgiving Bible journaling printables that will help you do this.

Start the day with gratitude

We begin our school time by thanking God and I start that process. It’s a joy for me to hear my children naming numerous things they are grateful for. Over the years, they have learned to look for reasons to be thankful.

[Read Kids’ Advice for Raising Thankful Children]

Pray for Others’ Needs

A powerful way of cultivating gratitude is getting the focus off self. We follow our thanksgiving in our morning prayer time with prayers for others. We pray over families who have sent us Christmas cards, for our family members away from home, and for other specific needs.

Ana Willis has created Thanksgiving jar printables with Bible verses and daily prayer prompts for this purpose.

Serve Others

We realize how blessed we are when we serve those in need. Making cards for church members who are hospitalized, sending letters to members of the military, putting shoeboxes together for needy children, serving others at church, going on a mission trip, and other service activities create hearts of gratitude. Ana Willis’s family chooses to focus their Christmas celebration on serving others rather than on purchasing gifts. It’s inspiring!

Keep a Record of God’s Faithfulness

I have shared instances of God’s faithfulness on this blog. See an example here and here. I have also kept a list of answered prayers. But a photo album with journaling notes is a record too.

Consider creating a gratitude jar and adding to it all year. Have your children read through the ways God’s been faithful to your family next Thanksgiving.

Keep studying gratitude

As a parent, consider reading more about how to counteract our entitlement culture.

Read 10 Tips to Grow Gratitude and Increase Happiness in Your Children

Read Powerful Ways to Increase Your Children’s Gratitude

Read Unique Ways for Homeschoolers to Express Gratitude

Do a unit study on Thanksgiving with your children. Techie Homeschool Mom has a free study you can do together:

Here is a list of more free Thanksgiving unit studies.


It is possible to cultivate a culture of gratitude. I am grateful for the opportunity to keep disciplining and to share what I learn with you. Thanks for reading!

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