Creative Child

Teaching Gratitude Can Change a Child’s Life. Here are 10 Reasons Why.

by Deborah Song

As parents, we focus on teaching our kids how to say “thank you” to instill good manners. But teaching our kids gratitude has much more far-reaching repercussions than good manners, science shows.

For any parent who has more than one child, you may have noticed that gratitude is in part a personality trait. Some people are just more inclined to be grateful by nature. But the good news is habit can change us.

The simplest way to enhance gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal. Five minutes a day can change your child’s life. Here are 10 reasons why it’s so important to instill the habit of gratitude in our children.

Gratitude makes us healthier. Research has showed us time and time again that those who engage in practicing gratitude feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop be depressed. People who practice gratitude are also more likely to exercise.

Gratitude helps us sleep better. Gratitude has been shown to increase sleep quality, the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, and increases sleep duration. That’s because envy and pessimism beget anxiety, which keeps us awake. Gratitude cuts at the very core of anxiety and helps us sleep more peacefully. One study showed that patients with chronic pain conditions who were assigned a daily gratitude journal slept half an hour more than their control group.

Gratitude stems envy. You know those incessant complaints? “Why does she get more?” “It’s not fair.” “He’s just better at it than I am.” Well, gratitude can help nip envy in the bud by focusing on what we do have and how others have helped us achieve and attain things.

Gratitude makes us less self-centered. The very practice of gratitude requires us to focus on ourselves less and on the benevolent acts of others more. Put another way, gratitude teaches us to be humble. And by becoming less self-centered and more humble, we become more confident beings. Which brings us to our next point.

Gratitude makes us more confident. One of the true marks of confident person is humility. While the opposite of a confident person, or one of the true telltale signs of an insecure person is arrogance. Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less. And the very nature of a truly confident person is someone who is able to see the good in their lives and be happy for others.

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