Healthy Gratefulness

by Dr. Virginia Smith

Children have a natural gift for wonder. You can see their eyes light up and faces fill with joy when they see something marvelous. Even though children can exhibit selfish tendencies, many times they are able to express thankfulness and gratitude for what they have received, especially when it is something they have wished and hoped for.

Gratefulness is a Healthy Habit

This ability to demonstrate gratitude is fun and encouraging, but did you know it is also healthy? Yes, research has demonstrated a high correlation between a spirit of gratitude and success in life – including maintaining good health.

Since we all want our children to be happy, healthy, and successful, what can we do to help them develop a spirit of gratitude? While thinking about this question, I decided to poll a few people I know and ask them what they did to instill thankfulness into their children and here are the top three answers:

As an adult, every time you have the opportunity to verbalize gratefulness in front of your children you can actually help them develop more gratitude. They learn from your example, so set a good one. In the end, everyone in your family will be happier and healthier.

Dr. Virginia Smith is a speaker, author, and life-long educator. A Kamm Distinguished Fellow in Academics, Research, and Leadership, she holds degrees in family services, business, and education with areas of concentration in curriculum design and development.

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