Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Do you know young people who struggle with friends? Maybe they don’t have as many as they’d like or they may choose people as friends you wish they wouldn’t. Or they may not know how to problem solve with them. Therefore, disagreements lead to broken relationships.

As I continue our series of posts about gratitude, it may or may not surprise you to learn that those who are grateful are more likely to have a pro-social manner and pursue better relationships. It’s true.

Helping your children be sincerely grateful may help more toward developing better relationships as the school year begins than direct instruction in friendship skills. Please read my earlier posts (here and here) about establishing a culture of gratitude at home if you haven’t already.

Specifically related to relationships, when we’re grateful, we’re more likely to be other centered. We take our eyes off ourselves and can rightly prioritize others and their feelings and needs.

We’ll willingly do what others want and not always need to do what we want. We’ll see problems other s may be having and we’ll choose to spend time helping them.

Our gratitude helps us be positive and optimistic, traits that enhance relationships. We’ll think the best of people before assuming the worst. We’ll let little things go and work to solve bigger issues because we’re pro-social.

Gratitude also results in empathy and that’s definitely related to relationships. Our ability to share in another person’s emotions or feelings helps to strengthen and maintain friendships.

If grateful people are in relationship with people we can help or who need us for some reason, it won’t be about us looking better because we solved a problem for them. It will be about us caring about others for their good. For their good. For their good.

Gratitude helps children and adults meet their core need for belonging in healthy ways. For this, and for so many other reasons, it’s worth helping your children develop more gratitude. Will you do it? When? Why not now?