Over the past two decades, studies have consistently found that people who practice gratitude report fewer symptoms of illness (including depression), more optimism and happiness, stronger relationships, more generous behavior, and many other benefits. In addition, research convincingly shows that, when compared with their less grateful peers, grateful youth are happier and more satisfied with their lives, friends, family, neighborhood, and selves. They also report more hope, engagement with their hobbies, higher GPAs, and less envy, depression, and materialism.
I have tried to make this obvious because the theme in the Secondary school this month is gratitude. I wonder how many ways we can think of to say ‘thank you’ to one another? I challenge you to be a good example for your children and allow them to see you expressing gratitude to the people in your lives.
Thank your children for making you proud when they work hard at school.
Thank your children for doing tasks around the house that are helpful to you.
Thank your spouse in front of your children for any variety of things.
Say thank you to the waiter at the restaurant.
Say thank you to the cashier at the grocery store.
Say thank you to the coach that works with your children.
Talk about how you are grateful to your parents for their efforts in providing you with a good childhood.
The simple message is clear: have an attitude of gratitude.