Why Kids Should Say Thanks

Your parents always taught you to say “thank you” because it was good manners. What they might not have known is that it was also good science.

A new study from the University of North Carolina shows that teaching a child to be grateful is also good for their own well-being. Being in the habit of saying thanks can bring lasting happiness, reduce depression, and even make you live longer.

Author Sara Algoe, PhD, writes:

“[G]ratitude signals communal relationship norms and may be an evolved mechanism to fuel upward spirals of mutually responsive behaviors between recipient and benefactor. In this way, gratitude is important for forming and maintaining the most important relationships of our lives, those with the people we interact with every day.”

And once your kids are grown up, that “attitude of gratitude” can even make them better bosses.


The editorial staff of ORBITER magazine humbly pursues life's Big Questions, illuminating the human condition and our place in the universe.