Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude


One day, Jesus healed 10 men who were sick with a horrible disease called leprosy (Luke 17:12-19). Only one of the men took time to thank Jesus for healing him. How do you think Jesus felt about this?

Zig Zigler once said, “When we neglect to require our children to say ‘thank you’ when someone gives them a gift or does something for them, we raise ungrateful children who are highly unlikely to be content. Without gratitude, happiness is rare. With gratitude, the odds for happiness go up dramatically.”

Developing an attitude of gratitude takes effort on our part. In the following article by Dr. Scott Turansky, co-founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting, you’ll discover ways to help your children cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Sometimes children obey but they do it with a bad attitude. Honor is the solution. It’s important to teach children what honor looks like in very practical terms. One mom defined attitude as “the heart of how you do something.” Obedience is revealed in actions. Honor is revealed in the attitude that goes along with those actions.

Often a bad attitude comes from an angry heart. Imagine an onion with various layers. As you peel off one layer you see another and another until you get to the center of the onion. Anger is like that. The most obvious signs of anger are physical violence. Hitting, slamming, kicking, and biting are all ways that anger is demonstrated.

As children learn to control their physical reactions, they peel off that layer revealing the next one: hurtful words through sarcasm, teasing, and cynical remarks. These less physical but deadly weapons are another symptom of anger.

Layer after layer of angry responses can be removed until you come to a very significant one: the bad attitude. Children don’t want to go to bed, clean up their rooms, leave the computer, or get on their shoes. You’re interrupting their lives by giving an instruction or by correcting or by saying no. Thus you get anger revealed in a bad attitude.

By recognizing this you will take the first important step toward change – you’ll see the problem. You won’t be content to get a job done with a bad attitude because now you’ll see the importance of addressing the attitude as well as the behavior. You might say to a child, “Wait a minute. Your attitude here is a problem. I’d like you to sit down for a bit and settle down and then let’s look for a better way to respond. When you’re ready to try a different response then we’ll continue.”

Explain to your children the value of a good attitude and the danger of a negative attitude. A good attitude is important and your interaction at home is a great place to start working on it.


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  1. Joan Amsler June 3, 2014
  2. Linda Hemp June 4, 2014

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