It’s easy to focus on the problems of life, but what about giving thanks? Yes, we know we should be grateful, but it’s not always what we want to do.
Diana Kapp’s recent Wall Street Journal piece gives us some encouragement by highlighting research that shows benefits for kids who harbor more gratitude. She cites studies that have shown this attitude to correspond to greater satisfaction in life and even better performance in school. On the contrary, Kapp notes that kids who tie materialism to happiness tend toward more depression and lower grades. Unfortunately, the materialistic attitude has been increasing at the same time the desire to work hard has decreased.
Kapp relates the need for parents to instill an attitude of gratitude in their children, something that must be done by example. Interestingly, one expert thinks gratitude is actually harder for adults who have gotten used to the give and take reciprocity of the adult world.
The good news is that gratitude can be developed. Says Diana Kapp,
“Gratitude works like a muscle. Take time to recognize good fortune, and feelings of appreciation can increase. Even more, those who are less grateful gain the most from a concerted effort.”
Would this be a good exercise in the new year?
Could it have a farther reaching impact than we think?
>>Source: Kapp, Diana. “Raising Children With an Attitude of Gratitude.” Wall Street Journal. 23 Dec. 2013.