“No, Thank YOU!”

As most parents can attest, a great deal of time and effort is spent encouraging children to say those magic words – ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘you’re welcome’. Hearing those words come out of the mouths of babes makes  moms and dads feel like they’re doing the right thing, even after children are prompted to say them…

…but truthfully, I’ve always wondered about how effective (or necessary) this is for the toddlers in our house. Do they know what these words mean? Do they even need to know what these words mean to create this habit? Should I spend my parenting energy on other, more ‘important’ things? Why can’t my 3-year old just remember to say please?!?! It’s not that hard, is it? Apparently, it is, for a few reasons, but I digress…

Of course, some insight into the health benefits of expressing gratitude comes from science. In general, and across a number of domains in our lives, being thankful is ‘good for us’. Based on health-related research from psychology and evolutionary biology, it seems like we’re on the right track by encouraging expressions of thanks.

So, our little ones will continue to enjoy hearing these daily reminders….and we’ll enjoy repeating the reminders for them….today, tomorrow, and for years and years and years and years to come.

So, if I haven’t told you lately: Thank You! Ahhhh…I feel healthier already.

GB

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