Character Chats

What is an attitude of gratitude?

Gratitude is our True Character word of the month.

Gratitude means “I’m so thankful.” It also means appreciating and recognizing things to be thankful for.

We’re going to start out with defining an attitude of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude is when you’re constantly thankful.

Define it for kids

To define it for our kids, we start with asking some questions:

  • “What have you been thankful for?”
  • “Have you thanked somebody for holding a door for you?”
  • “Have you thanked mom and dad for making you breakfast?”
  • “Have you thanked the teacher for helping you out with some homework?”
  • “Have you thanked a friend who helped you out with a problem?”
  • “Have you thanked somebody on a video game who helped you understand how to do it better?”
  • “Have you thanked your dog for being friendly and kind and nice?”
  • “Have you thanked your cat for sitting on your lap?”

Having an attitude of gratitude involves constantly saying thank you. We want to do it so much that we don’t have to think about doing it anymore. It should be one of those automatic things.

Kind of like when you go outside, you put your shoes on. When somebody does something nice, you say thank you!

Show thanks in different ways

There are a lot of times we can show our thanks.

For example, we can show our thanks at the dinner table. A good habit is to go around the table and ask everybody what was something they were thankful for today.

We can also have a thank-you jar — a gratitude jar — where people write down little things they’re thankful for and put it in the jar.

And we can have a thank-you calendar where we write down days of the month and one thing we were thankful for on each day. It’s a nice thing to look back over at the end of the month.

Another idea is to write thank-you notes in letters.

Let me ask you, does it cost anything to show gratitude? Does it hurt? Does it take a lot of time?


Showing gratitude is very easy. It doesn’t cost you anything. It doesn’t hurt. And it actually makes you feel good too.

Sidestep gratitude sappers

Now, sometimes there are things that can take away our gratitude — that can sap our gratitude.

One of them is commercials. For example, let’s say you see a commercial for a new phone. There’s nothing wrong with your phone, you like your phone, you can do everything you want on it. You can send texts, you can send pictures to friends, you can look up stuff on your phone — everything is fine.

But then you see that commercial for a phone that’s 1/10th of an inch larger and 1/100th of a second faster, and has a little bit better camera. And all of a sudden it’s like, “Oh no, my phone stinks. I need a new phone.”

We don’t want to let commercials get in the way of our gratitude. Sometimes, we really don’t need those things. We’re actually pretty thankful for what we have.

Another thing is a bad day. Have you ever had a bad day sap out your attitude of gratitude? Yeah, sometimes a bad day can do that, right?

We can start thinking about all the things that are going wrong instead of the things that we’re actually grateful for in the day. It’s important to remember that — keep that in mind so you can push past it when those things happen.

Deal with negative people

Sometimes you get negative people around you that think everything stinks. These types of people can sometimes get in the way of our gratitude.

There are some ways you can help these people. Show them a little bit of gratitude. Show them a little happiness. Show them a little sunshine in their life. Maybe you can turn something around for them.

But don’t let them turn around your attitude and your happiness for the day.

So, remember, this month’s word of the month is gratitude. Let’s make sure we keep that attitude of gratitude and show it all the time!

Thanks, and we’ll see everybody on the mat.
-Master Helsdon