Do Gratitude and Positive Affirmations Work On Kids? (Video)
I am a great believer in gratitude and positive affirmations for kids. If you are grateful for all that you have (and let’s remember the fact you are reading this already puts you ahead of 3 Billion people on earth who can not read) then you appreciate life a lot more. I am bizarrely grateful for the pile of dishes in the sink, why because it means I have enough money to put food on the table for my children, I am grateful for the mess of books spread all over my child’s bedroom floor as it means I am able to excite her about books and teach her to learn – you get the idea!.
I remember seeing this little video before I became a parent and thinking to myself I will ensure my daughter is grateful for her life too. I have affirmation practices with my 4 year old daughter she can happily list things she is grateful for and we do it at least once or twice a week. But are positive affirmations and gratitude for kids mumbo jumbo hippie nonsense or will it really help our children grow?
According to Scientific America 2010 review by Cornell University psychologist Anthony Ong, “although most studies show that optimistic people tend to be physically healthier than others and they may also live longer, these findings come from correlational studies, which examine statistical associations between positive thinking and life outcomes but cannot tell us about cause and effect. Thus, thinking positively might make us healthier, but being healthier may instead lead us to think positively.”
Plant of Success write “Research has shown that we all learn our belief systems as little children. It is the very belief system that functions as the foundation of our entire life. This means that adults move through life trying to experience situations that match their beliefs learned from childhood. But it also means that we are often bound to the limiting beliefs learned during childhood. These negative thought patterns can be attributed to childhood conditioning or unconsciously picking up negative beliefs.
For this very reason it is so important to help your children establish a supportive belief system showing them a positive attitude to life. By doing so we can help our children to internalize good values and positive beliefs, which allows them to develop confidence and a healthy dose of self-esteem.”
I found a really interesting study “Counting Blessings in Early Adolescents“ Which says “Results indicated that counting blessings was associated with enhanced self-reported gratitude, optimism, life satisfaction, and decreased negative affect. Feeling grateful in response to aid mediated the relationship between experimental condition and general gratitude at the 3-week follow-up. The most significant finding was the robust relationship between gratitude and satisfaction with school experience at both the immediate post-test and 3-week follow-up. Counting blessings seems to be an effective intervention for well-being enhancement in early adolescents”
As you will discover as you read more of my blogs I lean towards many more “hippy’ beliefs but you will also learn I really want to see these backed by science and research not just “because it feels good” when researching gratitude I found a wonderful website from Berkeley University – The Science of a Meaningful Life where I plan to get lost for a few hours this weekend. They state “Research convincingly shows that grateful youth, compared to their less grateful counterparts, are happier, more satisfied with their lives, friends, family, neighborhood, and selves. They also report more hope, engagement with their hobbies, higher GPAs, and less envy, depression, and materialism.”
My personal amazon books addiction could well get out of hand with so many fantastic gratitude and affirmation books for kids.
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