Teach your children gratitude

I breed morning people. If my little boys sleep until 7 am I am a lucky duck. Alex was even earlier. He woke up at 6 everyday without fail, and I only got relief after he was old enough to make his own breakfast… and then I had Logan and Luke. lol….

 Most of the time I really don’t mind. But sometimes… I just want to sleep in. Never happens. I am a very light sleeper and my kids love to pile into bed with me first thing in the morning. Logan is first… he will pull the covers up and climb in, all elbows and knees, and then pulling the covers back down over him he will snuggle in close to me as he can get. This ritual holds a special place in my heart.

 I remember several years worth of mornings, spent dosing next to my own mom who was still trying to hold on to slumber. With me, all elbows and knees (and cold feet!) snuggled on the very edge of her bed. Many a morning when I would close my eyes for as long as I could…… and thought it was magical that when I opened them again, it would be lighter through the skylight. Laying there, looking through the large slider until I could see the bumper sticker of a unicorn that I had put there when my dad made the green house. Slowly it would go from a grey blur to brilliant colors. These were everyday mornings… with a little magic in them.

 Often times, when we talk about gratitude, we talk about how we can make sure that our children are gracious and grateful, but we miss that it is by our example of being grateful for our children which challenges them to be grateful for things around them.  I spend many days planning activities that I expect them to be grateful for and in those crazy days, I realize that I haven’t made eye contact with them in hours. 

It is usually then that I recognize my days are filled with glorious moments.  It all starts with cold feet, and elbows and knees, babies that want to nurse and preschoolers that hop into my bed at ungodly hours, telling me, with no uncertain terms that Ihaven’t made breakfast yet.  I roll over and think, of course I haven’t.  I haven’t even gotten out of bed.  I almost say it… but the look of expectation on his face is so precious.  His face is filled with the thought that I can do pretty much anything… which includes making breakfast while still asleep (and I am pretty sure I have before).  And as he stares at me I am washed with a gratitude that nearly brings me to tears. 

 I have four amazing kids.  They push and challenge me, and fulfill me in a way I never thought possible.  My baby hugs me with such sincerity it feels like he will never let go.  I allow the imprint of that hug to last throughout the day and it carries me through so very much.  Rain or shine, my kids are here, working with me, watching me grow patiently… oh SO patiently… as I learn everything they have to teach me.

 This morning the light floods into the back windows. Every sunny morning we have woken up to rainbows thrown around the house from the sun catcher in the dining room. The kids notice every time.  As I make my coffee (and Logan’s breakfast) the kitchen is flooded with glowing sunlight… the only time in the day you don’t need a light in there. There is still something magical about waking up early. Still something magical about watching the sun come up…

 But the thing I am the most grateful for is the people who wake me up. 

Show Your Children You Are Grateful For Them


About Val

Valerie Rose, creator of the blog Collecting the Moments… one by one spends her days cooking, gardening, and homeschooling her 4 children on her urban homestead in rainy western Washington. With camera in hand, she is constantly collecting the moments of life and encouraging others to do the same with activities and inspiration for a simple, creative household. You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook and on her homeschooling blog where she documents all the fun learning her kids do day to day.


  1. Taking Notes says

    This post came at such a pivotal moment for me. I’ve been struggling with a child who os absolutely perfect in so many ways, yet seems to be the saddest child in the worl while at home. I’ve just come to realize that she is my mirror reflection. I know I need to just slow down and appreciate what I have. Today is a gift and it will be gone before I know it. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. @Taking Notes – I am so glad you enjoyed the post! And your daughter is very lucky to have such a connected mama. Sometimes it’s really hard to slow down and simplify, but I have always found it worth it. Thanks for your wonderful comment. 🙂


  3. Thank you for this. I needed to read this today. Its so easy to forget that the little things that drive you crazy about your kids, would also be the things that you would miss the most if you didn’t have them in your life anymore. This has given me boat loads of paitence as we recover from a nasty bout of the flu.
    Thank you!

    • @Sarum – I have those days too! It’s so hard to sort through some of those feelings when you aren’t at your best, like when you are sick. If all else fails, have a full on movie or book marathon! Make some tummy tea (or cold care) and let all the troubles of the day drift away as you sit and veg out together. 🙂 Those usually make things feel worlds better for my family.