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File photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service

Mealtime prayers are among the places children learn to say "thank you." Meals are also a good time to go around the table and have each person name something for which they are grateful that day.

Kids’ thoughts on gratitude


November-December 2017

What is gratitude – or thankfulness? That was among the questions several youngsters answered late last fall while being interviewed for the "Our Beliefs, Their Words" television campaign of The United Methodist Church. United Methodist Communications produced the television ads in which the children talked about love and kindness, miracles, Christmas and Easter, questions they would ask God, the meaning of "Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors." and other topics. Here are some of their minimally edited responses when asked, "What are you thankful for?" or "What does it mean to be thankful?"


(On Thanksgiving I was thankful for) my family and friends and that I have a house and food. (I'm also thankful) to be on earth. Cade, 10

I'm thankful for my house and my brother and my family. Claire, 6

I'm thankful for family, friends, animals and video games. Grant, 9

I'm thankful for my mom and dad and the friends that I have and my house that I have. Greyson, 8

(I'm thankful for) my family and friends and that God gave me the opportunity to wake up this morning to be here. I'm thankful for today because not everybody gets today. Some people only got yesterday. (She's also grateful for her brother even though) he really annoys me a lot, (but) he always loves me. I can talk to him about anything (that) maybe I can't talk to other people about. Every night, before he goes to bed, we hug. Hailee, 12

I'm thankful for my life and God and what God did to help me with things. To be thankful means to thank God for what you have. Hannah, 9

(We) can be thankful for what we have because poor people don't have that much stuff. I'm thankful for my mom, dad, my brother and my sister and my church and really everything because we can be thankful for what we have already. (Being thankful) leads us to share with other people (who) really are so poor they don't have what we have. We have to give and (give) thanks for what we have, so people will feel happy that we are caring for them. Some people feel like we're not caring for them because we're not giving them anything. Joanna, 9

You can share love and blessings with other people by being nice to them and not saying, "I don't want this when they give you something." Kellan, 7

I'm thankful for my house and my family and my friends and my sister. Liam, 8

I'm thankful for everything – everything that I have – my family, God and all my friends. Thankful feels like just giving everyone like a big compliment and saying, "I'm thankful for you because you know God and you love me and I love you." Lindsay, 7

I'm thankful for God putting me on this earth and to have wonderful parents and family. (To be thankful) means to be grateful and just to be humble. ... By being grateful and being humbler, you can use your humbleness to help and be kind. I can help other people by giving them clothes and helping them and washing cars. ... I think that people need to be humble and not think about themselves and to be kind to others. That's how problems are fixed, because people don't worry about themselves. ... I pray about my family, the food, how grateful I am and what things I need help on and stuff like that. Trey, 10

Gratitude is what you should feel after giving. Trip, 11

Generous is kind of like showing gratitude for somebody. Yasmine, 9

I'm thankful for my family and all the stuff God has provided us – really cool. I'd say, "Thank you, God, for all my friends and family and all the stuff you've done for us." Zeke, 8