How to teach kids gratitude and empathy

How can parents teach their kids these essential skills? Here are a few tips.


Gratitude (which is self-focused) is when a person chooses to focus on all that is positive in his life. Research tells us that people who have gratitude benefit from personal happiness, optimism, lack of stress, and tend to be more satisfied with their lives. They take better care of themselves by doing things such as eating well and exercising and are professionally better strategic thinkers (Emmons and McCullough).


Empathy (which is other-centered) is when a person tries to see life through the lens of another and puts himself in another person’s shoes. Empathy is a cornerstone of EQ and people who are empathetic benefit from having the essential skill necessary for healthy relationships and an increased desire to help and share. They also lack of aggressive and violent behavior.


These two separate skills complement each other, since, when people are grateful they tend to want to help others. And when people are empathetic toward others it reminds them of all that they can be grateful for in their own lives.