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A Pediatric Perspective

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Published November 21, 2012 4:07 PM by Cecilia Cruse

I think I have mentioned in passing my passion for reading about brain research. Lately I have been following some of the updates from the Greater Good Science Center out of the University of California Berkeley.  The GGSC's basic mission is to study the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teach skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.  Turns out that there is some interesting research being done on gratitude these days and its impact on daily life...even with children. Check out this week's article entitled "How to Foster Gratitude in Schools" which describes key points for teachers and/or other educational staff to help students develop the concept of gratitude.   Several of their research studies are cited including one that  found "...that teens who had high levels of gratitude when entering high school had less negative emotions and depression and more positive emotions, life satisfaction, and happiness four years later when they were finishing high school."  For other great ideas, check out GGSC's Dr. Christine Carter's quick video on Holiday Gratitude Traditions such as making gratitude place cards. Each member at the Thanksgiving table gets a place card with his/her name on it. Before the meal, children (and adults!) write something on the card that they appreciate about that person.  Family members/friends can then take turns during/after dinner reading what was written about them.  In the spirit of this holiday week and for the days ahead, let's foster an attitude of gratitude for ourselves and for our children.  Happy Thanksgiving!



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