Study Shows That Americans Are Teaching Their Children to be Grateful

In Education

Researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed 1125 parents of children aged 4-10 years on their children’s holiday attitudes. They found that 4 in 5 parents believed their children were not grateful for the things they had.

About 50% of the participants admitted to spoiling their children. Moreover, two in five were ashamed of their children’s selfishness.

According to Sarah Clark, the director at the C.S Mott’s Children Hospital National Poll, many parents compare their childhood with their children’s and wonder if they give them too many material objects. Moreover, the parents have noted that their children refuse to share and complain about the gifts they receive.

Parents are trying to teach their children to say thank you

Clark adds that while gratitude is healthy and fosters solid relationships, children do not develop quality by themselves. Furthermore, parents need to nurture appreciation in their children in ways appropriate to their age.

About 3 in 4 respondents prioritize teaching their kids to be grateful. Another 88% would teach their children to say thank you and please to nurture gratitude. About 11% of the parents did this occasionally, while 1% did not bother.

The researcher pointed out that teaching your children to say thank you is not always enough. Parents also have to explain why they should be grateful. For this reason, they should emphasize why they are thankful. By doing this, parents will teach their children to be polite rather than appreciative.

Parents are trying to involve their children in chores

About 1 in 4 parents stated that their children wrote thank you cards to people who gave them gifts. Another three in five taught their kids to use actions instead of words to express their gratitude. Therefore 1 in 3 would involve their children in household tasks.

The researchers suggest that parents tell their kids to help other family members. This move could get them more involved in chores which will, in turn, help them realize the role they play in the family’s well-being.

About two in three of the respondents got their children into volunteer work to teach them to be appreciative. The researchers state that parental should tell their children why it is essential to help others, so they understand the reason for volunteering.

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