News, resources, and links to help educators and home schoolers improve academic achievement.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Benefits of Gratitude

Contributed by Rhonda Cratty, educator and writer

November brings a season of thankfulness.  

Teaching our children to be grateful is a lifetime gift.  Studies have shown the benefits of gratitude are powerful: physical health, more optimism, higher life satisfaction, and a real sense of connection to the world that continues through our children's lives.

Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough have been working with scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for physical health, well-being, and even improved mental alertness.  The knowledge of benefits of gratitude is recorded throughout history.  Emmons states, "Thousands of years of literature talk about the benefits of cultivating gratefulness as a virtue."

In his book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Robert A. Emmons states, "Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations."  He continues, "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress."

About the author:

Rhonda Cratty has been a Denver-area teacher and writer since 1983.  She has taught Kindergarten-Sixth grades, and then moved into an Instructional Coach position.  Rhonda now enjoys writing about ways parents can improve the quality of their children's educational lives.  She has been with the National Parent & Education at since December 2008.  

Contact Rhonda at

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