Encouraging children to practice gratitude

Sociologist & Happiness Expert, Christine Carter, PhD shares advice for parents on how to teach your kids to be grateful for what they have rather than entitled
How To Encourage Kids To Practice Gratitude Rather Than Entitlement
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Encouraging children to practice gratitude

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A really common complaint that I hear from parents is that their kids feel really entitled. And if you think about it, the opposite of entitlement is really gratitude. And there's a lot that parents can do to foster gratitude in their children in order to counteract feelings of entitlement. It's really no more complicated than simply counting your blessings and then expressing them to other people. And what I like to recommend to parents is that they create a routine or a habit in their household in which they consciously express gratitude to one another everyday about the same time. So it could be a bedtime routine, it could be a diner routine. In our family we sit down to diner and go around the table and everybody says what they feel grateful for. And the great advantage there is that I no longer have to prompt people to do it so much, that they sit down to diner and they spontaneously start thinking and feeling grateful for things that have happened in their day. It's great too, because kids learn how to express their gratitude. Oftentimes, kids may seem entitled, but actually have unexpressed feelings of gratitude. And so it's important for us parents to remember that this is a skill – it can be very uncomfortable to express gratitude at first and that the more we practice, the better we get.

Sociologist & Happiness Expert, Christine Carter, PhD shares advice for parents on how to teach your kids to be grateful for what they have rather than entitled

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Christine Carter, PhD

Sociologist & Happiness Expert

A sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, PhD is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. Dr. Carter also writes an award-winning blog for Greater Good, which is syndicated on the Huffington Post and PsychologyToday.com. Carter has helped thousands of parents find more joy in their parenting while raising happy, successful and resilient kids. Known for her parenting and relationship advice, Carter draws on psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and uses her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts in action.

After receiving her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she was a Senior Fellow, Dr. Carter worked in marketing management and school administration, going on to receive her PhD. in sociology from UC Berkeley. Dr. Carter has been quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “TODAY” show, the “Rachael Ray Morning Show,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and NPR.

Carter has been a keynote speaker at hundreds of events and professional groups. In 2010, she received an award from the Council on Contemporary Families for her outstanding science-based reporting on family issues. In 2011 she won Red Tricycle’s award for the “Most Awesome Parent Education,” and so far in 2012 she has been nominated for a Bammy Award and for an award from the American Sociological Association for public sociology.

Dr. Carter teaches parenting classes online throughout the year to a global audience on raisinghappiness.com. She lives with her family in Berkeley, CA.

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