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How to teach your kids gratitude all year long: Mom Squad

Every Thanksgiving, kids list what they are grateful for. But how can you make this a genuine feeling? Dr. Kim Bell with Hanna Perkins Center gives her advice.

CLEVELAND — It's the time of year when we go around the dining room table and say what we are grateful for. Or if you have a little one, you might get the hand turkey that details five thinks your child is grateful for. But studies show practicing gratitude year-round can lead to a happier child, reduce the risk of depression and increase confidence.

In this week's Mom Squad Pod podcast, 3News' Maureen Kyle talks to Dr. Kim Bell with the Hanna Perkins Center about how to achieve gratitude. She said little things contribute to the kind of gratitude you're talking about.

“The ability to wait for something, you know, not immediately gratifying every desire, want and need. You know, like: Can I have a snack? Wait 10 minutes. I mean, little practice things about learning to delay gratification that feeds into this concept of gratitude, this idea that things don't come immediately upon my desire to have them.”

Dr. Bell also talks about the holiday season and how to react when your children ask for big-ticket items, seemingly expecting them without being grateful with what they have already.

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A group that seems to be most prone to this behavior is teenagers. With their access to social media and the internet, it’s important to make sure their “good deeds” are genuine and not just for show.

“Sometimes teenagers, when they're trying out things, can get into some stuff we call ‘performative activism,'" Dr. Bell says.

She describes them posting selfies to social media to show how they are being selfless or helping the community.

“Narcissistic and still very self-focused, but we need to be talking to them about what they're seeing. We need to be talking to them about what inequality really means, what privilege really means, what entitlement really means.”

You can listen to the entire conversation by downloading “Mom Squad Pod” anywhere you listen to your podcasts.

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