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How to Raise Your Child to Be Happy? Say Thank You.

We in the life insurance business must coach people in how to be “other- oriented.”

The benefit is, after all, for other people.

We are especially gratified when we see other professionals preaching the same virtue.

Studies have been published recently highlighting the benefits of teaching children to be grateful.

The Wall Street Journal just publicized a number of them.

Here are two particularly instructive quotes:

Gratitude works like a muscle. Take time to recognize good fortune, and feelings of appreciation can increase. Even more, those who are less grateful gain the most from a concerted effort. “Gratitude treatments are most effective in those least grateful,” says Eastern Washington University psychology professor Philip Watkins.

“The old adage that virtues are caught, not taught, applies here,” says University of California, Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. Parents need to model this behavior to build their children’s gratitude muscle. “It’s not what parents want to hear, but you cannot give your kids something that you yourselves do not have,” Dr. Emmons says.

The bottom line on how to raise your child to be happy

Say thank you whenever and wherever you can.