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Why Gratitude is Important for Children

Why Gratitude is Important for Children

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you’re likely thinking of ways you can teach your child about gratitude. But why is it so important that you do so?

Benefits in childhood

There are immediate benefits for a child learning about gratitude. Studies have shown that children who are taught to be grateful receive health and social benefits such as:

Benefits in later life

According to Dr. Jeffrey J. Froh of Hofstra University, teenagers who were grateful had more self-control, and a recent study suggests that gratitude may reduce aggressive or violent behaviors. Being able to put themselves in another person’s shoes allows children to care for and relate to others. Gratitude shows people that they have benefited from the kindness of others, and so in turn they are more likely to perform kind acts themselves.

Additionally, Psychology Today reports that “grateful people are found to be generally happier, with more social connections and fewer bouts of depression, which affects 20.9 million American adults.”

Age-appropriate ways to teach your child gratitude

It’s never too late to start teaching your child to be grateful.

Toddlers may not yet fully grasp the concept of being grateful, but they are beginning to understand that people do things to make them happy, which is one part of the gratitude equation.

Between the ages of two and four, you can begin introducing concepts of gratitude such as goodwill, empathy, and saying thank you. Some examples include:

As always, patience and consistency are key in helping your child learn gratitude. No matter the time of year, gratitude will give your child several important benefits that will improve their life both now and in the future.

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