It is never too early to build this among children. A grateful child is a happy child. “Our findings show that it is possible to reduce materialism among young consumers, as well as one of its most common negative consequences (non-generosity) using a simple strategy — fostering gratitude for the things and people in their lives.”
Sociologist and happiness expert Christine Carter said, “If we don’t teach kids gratitude and practice it with them, they grow up feeling entitled, and entitlement does not lead to happiness. On the contrary, it leads to feelings of disappointment and frustration. In contrast, gratitude makes us happy and satisfied with our lives.”
Materialism has been linked to anxiety and depression as well as selfish behaviors. But the good news is parents can easily curb that kind of mindset early on. According to a new study, teaching kids to be grateful for the things they have and the people around them is a significant step to avoiding the “bili mo ‘ko” attitude.
The researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed more than 870 kids ages 11 to 17 and asked them to complete questionnaires designed to assess how the children value money and material goods. It also checked how thankful they are for people and possessions in their lives.
The same questionnaires were then answered by 61 kids who were instructed to keep a daily journal for two weeks. One group was asked to record who and what they were thankful for each day, while the other group was asked to record their daily activities. After two weeks, the journals were collected and the kids were asked to answer the same questionnaires anew. They were then given 10 $1-dollar bills for their participation and told that they could keep all the money or donate some or all of it to charity.
The survey’s results showed that keeping a journal of the things and people the kids were thankful for made a significant impact when they answered the two sets of questionnaires. The group that kept a gratitude journal was also more generous — they donated two-thirds of the money given to them compared to the other group, which donated just less than half of their money.
“Our findings show that it is possible to reduce materialism among young consumers, as well as one of its most common negative consequences (non-generosity) using a simple strategy — fostering gratitude for the things and people in their lives,” said researcher Lan Nguyen Chaplin, associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and coauthor of the study, said in a press release. The study was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
Original Article from SmartParenting