The power of practising daily gratitude as a parent

World Gratitude Day is observed on September 21st every year. It’s a time to reflect on everything we’re grateful for in our lives. As parents, our daily routines can be filled with challenges, responsibilities, and demands that sometimes leave us feeling overwhelmed and negative.

However, amidst the chaos of parenthood, practising gratitude can be a game-changer. In this blog post, we’ll explore how cultivating gratitude as a parent can bring about a multitude of benefits, not only for ourselves but also for our children – and, as you’ll see, it can take as little as five minutes a day! Keep reading for our fun, practical, and simple tips to implement this new habit into your family’s day.

The power of practising daily gratitude as a parent

As parents, our actions and attitudes have a profound impact on our children’s development and wellbeing. Practising gratitude each day is a simple yet powerful way to create a more positive and nurturing environment for our families. Here are just some of the benefits:

1. Fosters positivity

One of the most significant advantages of practising gratitude is the positive impact it has on our mindset. When we take time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the things we’re grateful for, we shift our focus away from all the negativity and toward the positive aspects of life. As tired and overwhelmed parents, this mindset shift can have a profound influence on our overall happiness and how we interact and connect with our children.

2. Strengthens parent-child relationships

Gratitude isn’t just about recognising material possessions; it’s also about appreciating the people in our lives. When we express gratitude to our children for their efforts, kindness, or simply for being themselves, we strengthen the parent-child bond. This fosters a sense of security, trust, and love that can positively shape our children’s emotional development.

3. Teaches important values

Modelling gratitude for our children helps instil this essential value in them. Children learn by observing their parents, and when they see us practising gratitude, they are more likely to adopt this positive habit themselves. Grateful children tend to be more empathetic, compassionate, and generous towards others.

4. Reduces stress

Parenting can be stressful, but incorporating gratitude practices into our daily routine can help reduce stress levels. When we focus on the things we’re thankful for, we activate the body’s relaxation response, which counteracts the stress response. This not only benefits us as parents but also creates a calmer and happier environment for our children.

5. Builds resilience

Life can be really hard at times, and teaching our children how to navigate adversity is a fundamental aspect of parenting. Gratitude can play a vital role in building resilience. By emphasising gratitude even during difficult times, we teach our children that there is always something to be thankful for, no matter the circumstances.

Practical tips for practising gratitude as a parent

Here’s how you can quickly and easily practise gratitude each day and reap the above benefits:

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Dedicate a few minutes each day to jot down things you’re grateful for. Include moments, experiences, and qualities in your children that make you thankful. You might like to simply ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?”, but to dig deeper, you could answer the following questions, either writing them down in your journal or thinking about them when you have a quiet few minutes.

  • “What brought me joy today?”

Reflect on specific moments or experiences that brought positivity into your day.

  • “What challenges did I overcome?”

Acknowledge your resilience and ability to face challenges, emphasising the positive outcomes.

  • “How can I express my gratitude today?”

Think about ways you can show appreciation to the people or things that have positively impacted your life.

  • “What lessons have I learned from difficult experiences?”

Even in challenging situations, there can be valuable lessons that you can be grateful for.

  • “How can I share this positive energy with others?”

Consider how your gratitude can inspire and uplift those around you.

  • “What am I looking forward to in the future?”

Focus on the positive aspects of what lies ahead, creating a sense of anticipation and hope.

  • “Am I making the most of the present moment?”

Remind yourself to stay mindful and fully engage with the positive aspects of your current situation.

  • “How can I make someone else’s day better?”

Extend your gratitude by seeking opportunities to bring positivity to someone else’s life.

2. Express gratitude verbally

Tell your children and partner why you’re grateful for them. Encourage your children to do the same once they’re developmentally ready to. You might say things to your children like:

  • “Thank you for being such a helpful and responsible [son/daughter]. I appreciate it”.
  • “I’m so grateful to have you in my life. You bring me so much joy”.
  • “I love the way you always make me smile. You have a special gift”.
  • “You worked really hard on that, and I’m proud of your dedication”.
  • “Thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. You have a big heart”.
  • “I’m thankful for the fun we had together today. You make every moment special”.

To your partner, you might say things such as:

  • “I appreciate all the love and support you give our family. You’re amazing”.
  • “Thank you for taking care of [specific task or responsibility]. It means a lot”.
  • “I’m so grateful for your patience and understanding. You make our relationship stronger”.
  • “You make me feel loved and cherished every day. I’m lucky to have you”.
  • “I appreciate your hard work and dedication to our family. You’re a great partner”.
  • “Thanks for always being there for me. Your support means everything”.

3. Create a family gratitude ritual

Incorporate gratitude into your family’s daily routine. This can be during meals, bedtime, or any other suitable time. Here are some examples of how you can infuse gratitude into different parts of your day. Choose some age-appropriate activities for your children from this list:

  • Gratitude circle: Before you start eating, go around the table and have each family member share something they’re thankful for that day.
  • Thankful placemats: Create placemats with spaces for family members to write or draw something they’re grateful for. Use these during meals.
  • Gratitude journal: Keep individual gratitude journals by your children’s bedside. Encourage them to write or draw one thing they’re thankful for before bedtime.
  • ‘Three good things’: Ask your children to share three positive things that happened during the day before they go to sleep.
  • Gratitude walk: Take a family walk and express gratitude for the beauty of nature, the time spent together, or the opportunity to be active.
  • Random acts of kindness: Encourage family members to perform random acts of kindness for each other and then express gratitude for these gestures.
  • Morning reflections: At breakfast, have each family member share one thing they’re looking forward to or are grateful for in the day ahead.
  • Gratitude affirmations: Create morning gratitude affirmations that everyone can say together to start the day on a positive note.
  • Gratitude jar: Start a family gratitude jar where everyone can write down things they’re thankful for throughout the week and read them together on a designated day.
  • Community service: Engage in family volunteering or community service activities, encouraging gratitude for what you have and the opportunity to give back.


This World Gratitude Day, and every other day, let’s make a commitment to foster gratitude in our homes, not just for the benefits it brings to us as parents but for the lasting positive impact it has on our children’s lives. Gratitude is a gift we can give to ourselves and pass on to the next generation.


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