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An anti-depressant for children?

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment
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Image: Felixco, Inc. / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to say thanks. Today my daughter came home with a paper listing three things that she is thankful for. But maybe we should have our kids practice the art of gratitude a lot more often than just once a year. Christine Carter, a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, has noted that recent research is indicating that practicing gratitude is deeply connected with happiness and that this also applies to children. One study found that gratitude in high school students is linked with higher grade point average, life satisfaction, social integration, and absorption, as well as lower envy and depression. Try adding some of the following practices to help your children develop more gratitude:

  • Have your child keep a gratitude journal.
  • Have each family member discuss something that they are grateful for from the day at dinnertime.
  • Have a child tell you what they were grateful for at bedtime.
  • Suggest to your child that they write a letter to someone who has helped them in the past to let them know that they are thankful to have the person in their lives.
  • Document happy memories with photos and journals.

Any other ideas? I am definitely grateful that I can go to bed now 🙂

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