How to Raise Grateful and Responsible Children

How to Raise Grateful and Responsible Children | Baby Chick

How to Raise Grateful and Responsible Children

Raising grateful and responsible children is increasingly more difficult in this world of instant gratification and entitlement. One of my favorite movies, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has always been a favorite of mine. One of the characters, Veruca Salt, is the epitome of what an ungrateful child looks like. Even as a kid, I disliked her immensely. And her character always made me wonder who would ever raise a child to act like that? And why would a parent ever end up giving their child every single thing they want?

Well, it’s easy to judge when you do not have any children of your own. But for many parents, once they fall in love with their child, they may end up finding it easier than they ever imagined to give them all the things that make them happy. Not because they want them spoiled, but because they love them. But sometimes determining the difference between showing love and giving excessively can get blurry. And while giving to our children is not necessarily bad, in excess, it can become entitlement, which is what every parent seems to fear.

So how do we stop it? How do we prevent ourselves from raising kids who feel the world owes them something? Well there are two very helpful antidotes: gratitude and responsibility. Responsibility increases gratitude. And when gratitude increases, entitlement decreases. So as parents, we want to focus on helping implement strategies at home that focus on these.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to raise grateful and responsible children:

Implement Ownership Around the House

The concept of chores has been around forever. And there are different camps on the best way a chore should be assigned—for payment or without. But whatever your family decides, teaching your child to contribute to the family household is a great way to teach responsibility. Parents often get caught up in how well a child is doing a task. But they forget that the point of the chore is more about teaching the child they are capable, too. (Not that they will fold the laundry to a parent’s standards. Because they will not, much to my dismay!)  However, the more they see they are capable of, the more self-esteem they develop, which leads to taking ownership of their decisions and increased responsibility.

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Teach Dinnertime Gratitude

Dinnertime is a great way to reconnect with the family and the older children get, it becomes more crucial. But it’s also a great time to reset your focus as a family too. Instead of just generically talking about your days, ask your children specific questions centered around things that have gone well for them. Instead of, “What was the best part of your day?” ask “What is one thing someone did for you today that was nice?” This small change in a question helps change their mind to be focused on gratitude. It also encourages you to have conversation around why someone did what they did. “Wow, that was very nice of your teacher to give everyone in class extra recess. Maybe she wanted to show you all that she cared for you! Maybe next time she does, go give her a hug and tell her thank you!”

Say No So They Experience Waiting for Something

We often say yes to simple things our children ask for just because we can: 

“Mom, can we drive through McDonald’s?” Sure.
“Mom, do you mind if I get that swimsuit?”
Sure.
“Mom, can I go to this sports camp?”
I guess so.

Our answer is often YES. But when a child never hears no, they begin to think they do always get what they want. And they never learn the skill of having to wait on something they want or not getting something that sounds fun. And if you always get what you want, it’s hard to appreciate what you’ve been given. So as parents, we want to say no sometimes, so when we do say YES, our children feel thankfulness. It seems simple, but it can be profound. You can even say, “I can say yes to that, but sometimes it’s good to wait for things we want. So I’m going to say no because I love you.”

Write Thank You Notes

This is one of my all-time favorite methods for increasing gratitude. Have your child get in the habit of writing handwritten thank you notes for presents they receive or when an adult does something nice for them. If they are too little to write, have them do their name or their handprint or a scribble. This is NOT about the person on the other end expecting a thank you. Instead, it’s about teaching your child to look for opportunities to show gratitude. The more we focus our minds on noticing how blessed we are, the more we feel it in our hearts.

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Model and Teach Ownership of Mistakes

Last, it’s strange to say that recognizing fault within ourselves is a way to increase responsibility, but it is. It teaches us (and our children) to be responsible for their actions or have accountability. And entitled children tend to struggle with noticing when they are in the wrong. Instead of, I made a mistake, it’s “You made me…” So an easy way to help is to take responsibility when we mess up in front of them. If your children haven’t seen you apologize, how will they think it’s a safe thing to do? When we model saying I am sorry, they see the value in saying they’ve made a mistake too! Then step in when they need to apologize and talk about how even adults have to admit mistakes too.

I hope some of these tips can help you discover the best way to raise grateful and responsible children. Let us know if one of these particularly hit home with you!

About the Author /

Quinn is a wife, boy mom (x’s 4), blogger at Sanctification and Spitup, host of the Renew You Podcast and licensed marriage and family therapist. She loves to encourage others in relationships through her speaking, writing or podcast episodes.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #goodmorning #happybaby #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17848203934772065 Her comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway! 🎶📦🤣⁠
📷: @cmon.mama⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
Instagram post 17866964371538725 Stacks on stacks . . . of diapers. 😂 Can you relate?⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
📷: @madiford2 via Twitter⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #funnypregnancy #momtobe #pregnancylife #thanksgiving #mamatobe #turkeymama #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #thirdtrimester #preggo #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #newmom #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17862516742586656 Pass the rolls. Baby rolls, bread rolls, all the rolls.⁠ 😍🍞👶 #thanksgivingjokes 😜⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
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📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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