Why is it important for us as parents to teach our young children to have gratitude? There are several different pieces of data suggesting that not only does gratitude help children to form, maintain, and strengthen supportive relationships, but it also helps them to feel connected to others who care for them. Other studies have linked gratitude to creating a protection from stress and depression over time.
Evidence from research suggests that grateful children compared to their less grateful counterparts, are happier and more optimistic, have better social support, are more satisfied with their school, family, community, friends, and themselves, and give more emotional support to others.
Well it seems that all the research supports why we should teach our kids to be grateful, so the next obvious question would be how do we teach them to be grateful.
Encouraging gratitude in children is, appreciation for when somebody has done something kind or helpful for them or recognition of the good things and people they have in their lives. This is a three step process.
Awareness- Calling attention to physical object or situation and then the effort it must of taken them.
Positive Emotions-Help your child to connect to their happy feelings about the situation or object and how they must be special.
Attribution-Assisting children to make sense of what took place. see that there was a willingness on the part of the other person to give with out any obligation. (ie, wasn’t that nice of her she did not have to do that.)
Essentially gratefulness in children is going beyond good manners and creating meaning about those positive attributions.
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