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Why Children Who Are Taught to Say “Thank You,” “Please,” and “Have a Nice Day” Grow Up to Be Truly Good People

When parents teach children to be polite and say “Thank you,” “Please,” and other common niceties, it’s not wrong to assume they’re just teaching them good manners. But, you probably didn’t think that they’ve been teaching the secret to everlasting happiness all along.

We at Bright Side were thrilled to find out that teaching your kids good manners has a positive effect on their lives as they grow up, and by the end of this article you’ll find out what that means.

Expressing gratitude has psychological health benefits.

According to some studies, there is a direct link between good health and expressing gratitude. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, and improve their health. In fact, one study was performed to test this theory, where the researchers asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on certain topics.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for, and the second group wrote about the things that irritated or displeased them on a daily basis. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, and also exercised more than those who focused on the negative things, meaning that practicing gratitude influenced their mindset in a positive manner.

It helps develop and preserve relationships.

Teaching your kids to be thankful and express gratitude in their lives will help them nourish and maintain important relationships later in adulthood.

One study done by Sara Algoe, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, suggests that openly expressing gratitude and appreciation to the people around you has long-term and short-term health benefits on you and the person you direct your positive manners to. This means that gratitude is very important to building and nurturing relationships in the long run.

Practicing courtesy and gratitude from an early age helps build a strong character.

Kids are like sponges. Everything in the world is new to them, which is why it’s important to teach them which manners in human interactions lead to developing a strong and noble character.

According to Jean Piaget, a specialist in child development, the best age to start teaching a child manners is between 2 and 7 years old. During this time, the “intuitive intelligence stage” is formed, and children begin to progressively understand the true value of respect, empathy, and justice.

Tips and techniques for raising grateful children

Since we covered the reasons for how gratitude and courtesy can help children live a happy and healthy life, let’s see what some of the most efficient ways are of boosting gratitude as behavior in children:

  • Be a role model: Kids watch closely what their parents say and how they say it. When you are sincerely grateful, your kids will learn from that and be more likely to replicate the same behavior.
  • Talk openly about gratitude: Discussing the concept of gratitude will allow your child to become directly aware of its importance, and it will prompt your child to develop gratitude as well.
  • Keeping a gratitude journal: Teach your kid to practice writing down 2 to 5 things they are grateful for every day, and to explain why each of those things makes them grateful.

Do you agree that gratitude is a key to long-term happiness in children? Do you, or would you, teach your child to express gratitude? Share your thoughts in the comments below.