Teaching Gratitude – Family Style

Here we are. November.

Stuffed with candy (kit-kats to be exact), jack-o-lanterns being put away … and be honest. Some of you put your Christmas tunes on. I did.

Sweet little November. We leap frog this month. Just jump right over its head for the wonder and magic of December. I do it every time.

It’s not because we are anti-gratitude or anti-pilgrims. It’s just BUSY.

Obviously, I write a lot on this topic in the book and share an activity on how to make GRATITUDE a part of your daily lives. Through laughter, not lectures.

 Teaching Gratitude Family Style


Here’s How We Are Teaching Gratitude In Our Family

We printed out the Gratitude Virtue Card and simply taped it to our junk closet door. You can get all the virtue cards here.

Gratitude CourtneyDeFeo.com

I love this definition for three reasons.

1. It puts it in kid terms. Something they can understand.

2. The first half focuses on “giving thanks” – reminding us all to pause and thank our Lord

3. The second half reminds us to actually do something – take action showing our heartfelt appreciation


We make it so complicated and it doesn’t have to be. We talked about the definition on the way to school today and I asked their ideas.

Larson mentioned that we should take her teacher coffee because she loves coffee. She said that we should thank Mrs. Werner next door for always taking photos of our family. I would have NEVER thought of that – and how precious. She is right. Linda is always right here – capturing the moment for us.

Giving Thanks

You can do this a number of ways – just take a moment or many moments this month (or all year long) to GIVE THANKS to the one that gave it all. Tell Him all we love.

  • At night, round robin before dinner…. “Thank you God for…”
  • On a pretty fall walk, play I spy with a twist “Thank you God for.. birds! trees! shade! sun!”
  • Find a way to display your blessings as you list them – we have this beautiful new Gathered Round Wreath from Ever Thine Home. A gift line from Barbara Rainey. I am just smitten with their work – and each piece they make. So intentional – so beautiful.


As we give thanks – simply asking my girls “Who should we thank God for?” And then we put them up!


Just search Pinterest and there are one bazillion adorable ways you can combine leaves and decor to make it a part of your home this month.

However, don’t let the cute factor stop you. You can grab a marker and write it on a board. Don’t let your handwriting or your lack of perfect chalkboard stop you from doing something simple with your kids. Give thanks. Let them see it and feel it.

Last night, I went through about 2 years of photos – trying to catch up on photos books – that my girls LOVE. I cannot even explain how far behind I am. Nothing helps me change my attitude more than that exercise. Together, the four of us giggled and remember – we remembered how many great times we have had together. How awesome we have it right now and how many more are to come. That doesn’t cost a thing.

Thanking the Lord today for those moments. Thousands of them. He is really good, even in the midst of hard hard stuff. He is good.



Showing Heartfelt Appreciation

  • Let the kids lead. See what comes to their mind.
  • We are writing some post cards. Another product of Ever Thine Home. Make sure you get specific – heartfelt involves just that. The heart. Why you appreciate them.



  • It can be so small and at the last moment – a coffee, buying a friend lunch. A post-it note on someone’s desk. As your heart is moved in gratitude – just let someone know.
  • You can ask your kids, “how could we let that person know we REALLY appreciate them? How could we show them?”
  • Find a way to show daddy with a favorite meal


The Best Way is To Experience It

This morning, I am so reminded that my kids need to feel that I really like them. I really am glad to be their mom. What would it look like if they felt my HEARTFELT appreciation? Could they experience gratitude because of the way I parent? Could I show them this month that I feel like the most blessed mom on earth? What if I slip a note under their pillow that lists everything they are doing right? Could I get a tiny treat that shows them I appreciate their work, their effort, their love?

Show them, don’t just teach them.


By the way – I really appreciate you. Like really. Keep up the great work.


More information on Ever Thine Home. They are an advertiser for me now – but I was talking with them before that happened because I LOVE everything about what they are doing. This is not a paid post. Those untie your story napkin ties would make one awesome Thanksgiving hostess gift.

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  1. Thank you, Courtney, for always encouraging and inspiring me! We are doing 30 days of Thanks and Giving with our family. I had each of my three kiddos list ten things they are thankful for and then we will do something daily to show our thankfulness to someone else. I love listening to my 4 year old daughter. I asked her yesterday what she was thankful for and she said “my best friends”. I asked her how she thought she could show them how much she was thankful for them and she said “make them smile”. When I asked how she could do that she said “make silly faces”. And, it’s so true! Being thankful and showing thankfulness doesn’t have to cost us anything – it truly is priceless!

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