Parenting Connection: Teaching kids how to be grateful

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Teaching kids how to be grateful

A new national poll from the University of Michigan found that four in five parents agree that kids nowadays are not grateful for what they have. Now, as millions of families get ready to celebrate a holiday focused on gratitude, there’s a new push to promote the importance of kids feeling and acting thankful.

Child experts say gratitude is an important trait to have as a young child, in fact, a recent study published in the “Journal of Happiness” showed gratitude is linked to happiness in children by the age of 5. Researchers say this means that instilling gratitude in your kids at a young age could help them grow up to be happier people. Other studies show grateful children tend to be happier, more optimistic, and give more social support to others as well.

Here are 5 ways parents can help to teach their children gratitude:

*Make saying ‘thank you’ a regular phrase

*Talk about gratitude. In fact, take the time to reflect on what family members are grateful for at the dinner table or other times during the day — not just on Thanksgiving

*Assign kids to do family chores. Experts say this helps children appreciate their role as a helpful person

*Have them, volunteer. Experts say this will help build a sense of empathy, kindness, and compassion

*Model gratitude. Kids look up to parents and will want to copy actions we do, so lead by example

Child experts say the holiday season is an ideal time for kids to learn good manners and an appreciation of anything received, no matter what it is…. and of course, there’s no better time to talk and teach about being thankful – than on Thanksgiving.

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