How can parents help instill a sense of gratitude in their children? Bono suggested parents start paying attention to their own sense of gratefulness and model it. "Talk about what you're grateful for, and ask your kids what they appreciate," he said. He also advised mentioning people who have helped in their lives: a teacher who stayed after class, a coach who made a difference. "Talking about gratitude helps guide us all to the things that matter most," he noted.
Because this research was presented at a meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The research was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Learn more about gratitude from the Greater Good Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
SOURCES: Giacomo Bono, Ph.D., professor, psychology, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, Calif.; Alec Miller, Psy.D., chief, child and adolescent psychology, Montefiore Medical Center, and professor, clinical psychiatry and behavior sciences, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York City; Aug. 5, 2012, presentation, American Psychological Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.
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