Most Parents Say Their Kids Aren’t Thankful Enough

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

As American families sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving, a majority of parents say they want to raise grateful kids but they don’t think they’re succeeding.

Four out of five respondents to a new nationwide poll said children aren’t as thankful as they should be, and half worry that they overindulge their own kids. Two in five also said they’re sometimes embarrassed by how selfish their child acts.

“Many parents may look back to their own childhood and, in comparison, wonder if they are giving their child too much in the way of material things. Parents may have watched their child behave selfishly, such as refusing to share with other children or saying they don’t like a particular gift,” said Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at University of Michigan Health.

“We know that gratitude is associated with more positive emotions, having strong relationships, enjoying more experiences and even health benefits,” Clark added. “However, gratitude is not something that children usually acquire automatically; it needs to be nurtured, in an age-appropriate way.”

The responses were gathered from a nationally representative sample of parents of 4- to 10-year-olds. The parents used different strategies to encourage their kids to be thankful at the holidays and always, the findings showed.

Most respondents said it’s possible to teach kids to be thankful. The poll detailed five strategies: teaching manners; giving; volunteering; contributing to family chores; and talking about gratitude.

Reminding kids to mind their manners was among the most commonly cited methods. About 88% of parents regularly have their child say “please” and “thank you,” while 11% do so occasionally.

However, “There’s a difference between politeness and gratitude,” Clark said. “To help children learn to be grateful, parents also need to emphasize why they’re asking their child to say thanks.”

Taking time to reflect on what family members are grateful for at the dinner table or at other times during the day is another way families promote gratitude, according to the report. Nearly two-thirds of parents said their family has daily conversations about what they’re grateful for, with about 36% including that in prayers.

The poll was taken in June and findings are based on responses from 1,125 U.S. parents.

Source: HealthDay
https://consumer.healthday.com/b-11-22-most-parents-say-their-kids-aren-t-thankful-enough-poll-2655751068.html

Help us reach the next generation of families

Donate
Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA
      92693

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)

Close