- Fri, November 25 2011
- Filed under: Fun stuff
On this Black Friday, when it’s easy to get swept up in our kids’ wish lists and the seasonal buying frenzy, I wanted to offer a little antidote.
Some new research shows that helping our children be grateful for what they have - and teaching them to thank others - makes them (and us) happier.
According to this Washington Post article, researcher Jeffrey Froh found that early adolescents who counted their blessings in a journal every day were more satisfied with their lives, and schoolchildren exposed to a gratitude curriculum reported more appreciation and happiness.
So how do you do this in your own family? Here are the tips from the article:
1. Be a good role model - thank others in front of your kids.
2. Be positive and encourage reflection on things going right.
3. Curtail commerce - swap out the next mall or Best Buy trip with an outing to the park or a sports event.
4. Help them help others. In our family, we sponsor another family for Christmas and it’s one of our kids’ favorite parts of the holiday.
5. Take the long view. Even when your kids are not acting as grateful as you’d wish, try to remember your efforts over time are likely to be internalized eventually. Like all things in parenting, it’s not easy but it does matter!