If you want your kids to be healthy and fit, teach them the basic etiquettes of saying, "thank you," says a new study.
According to psychologists at the University of California and University of Miami, youngsters who took part in daily gratitude exercises reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.
The researchers also reported that the children were also more likely to help someone than members of a control group who focused on daily hassles.
Sue Chain, a mother of two kids, started a family tradition at Thanksgiving in which everyone around the table takes a turn reflecting on what they're most thankful for over the past year.
"It's a way to take a minute to think about what we're really appreciative of and share it with the rest of the family," the New York Daily News quoted Chain, as saying.
"They surprised me. They weren't telling us about new toys or treats, but friendships and activities we'd done together," she added.
A New York etiquette expert and founder of EtiquetteOutreach.com, Lyudmila Bloch said that the exercise of teaching kids to be grateful was very healthy.
"This exercise is very useful. The first parenting lesson is to model by example, especially when it comes to gratitude and good manners. If a toddler can say a few words, one of the most important words they need to learn is 'thank you,'" Bloch said.
Bloch said that it is very important to teach children to understand the emotion behind the sentiment.
"It's also important that children learn to thank people even for the gifts that they don't enjoy or don't need. Often children will say, 'But I don't like this book,' or 'Grandma gave me a red sweater that I don't like.' It's important they understand why we're grateful and why we're thanking someone for a gift," she said.
She added that with a little parental guidance, kids can reap the benefits from understanding the significance of gratitude.
"Children need to understand that we're not thanking people for the value of the gift, or for what we're getting. It's for their thought and kindness and the time that people have invested in us," she said.