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

On a scale of 1-10, how much joy do you have? Do you live with consistent joy or is it circumstantial? Are you joyful only when things are going well?

What about gratitude? Are you consistently grateful or not? Would you give yourself a score of 4 or 7 or something else?

Why do gratitude and joy matter? Certainly there are many reasons. One is that they’re proven to increase the likelihood that children/adults will have self-respect, self-control, and respect for others. Why does that matter? Again, there are many reasons:

These children will have greater self-security. Therefore, they’ll take healthy risks and learn more. They’ll also expect these qualities in others so they’ll use them as one standard of choosing friends. Therefore, they’ll have a strong security base.

Their identity will be rooted in character, which can be a constant. Once they get known for behaving well, it’s easier to keep behaving in those ways. Children who respect themselves are more teachable. Self-control means they’re less likely to develop negative behaviors. Their identity will be positive.

They will have healthier belonging with teachers, other adults, and peers because of the respect they give. This means less bullying, fewer disagreements, more friendships, and fewer negative distractions.

Children who respect themselves are more likely to want to discover their purpose. They’ll believe in it and work harder to fulfill it because they have self-control. Their respect for others will drive their motivation to serve and to leave the world a better place.

They may do better in school because their positive behaviors will keep them focused and contribute to their motivation. Because they respect themselves, they’ll more likely persevere on tasks, when necessary. A big part of competence (what we do well) is character and there’s will be solid. They’ll be able to do other things well, too, because character is the foundation.

Self-respect, self-control, and respect for others are key character qualities that affect all five core needs. They’re essential to develop and evaluate at all times – in children and in ourselves. Beginning the school year with them in place would be wise so talk about them at night and in the morning.

But, remember. Where are these three character qualities birthed? In gratitude and joy. Develop those attributes. Watch for future blogs that will help you.