Children raised as churchgoers are happier later in life, study claims
My parents never took me to church as a child. In fact, my Sunday mornings were spent in front of the TV watching cartoons and listening to Hanson. In addition, every time I visit my parents these days as an adult, they always comment about how much I complain and moan about many things in my life.
Now, it could be because I'm a millennial and am forced to live in a tumultuous political and social climate, where the threat of terrorism is a constant in my life, and I am routinely lectured by my parents who could afford to buy a house at the age of 21 with unskilled and low-wage jobs about how I should try saving for that forever-unaffordable house in central London... or it could be because they never took me to church.
Yes, new research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has discovered that children or teenagers who attended religious services at least once a week are 18% more likely to report being happier in their twenties than those who never attended services.
In addition, the research also revealed that young churchgoers are also 33% less likely to have sex at an earlier age, contract an STI, and use drugs in their twenties. And if that isn't enough to make your kids comb their hair, iron their best shirt, and say their prayers, maybe the next revelations will.
The research also found that those who prayed and/or meditated daily - either at home or at church - were also better at processing their emotions and were more forgiving to others. Also, researchers were able to find a correlation between church attendance and an increased likelihood of voting and decreased chances of smoking.
And if all that isn't enough, it turns out that raising your children as churchgoers also has a huge positive impact on the community, as nearly 30% of children who were raised to attend church were more likely to take part in volunteer work.
And even if you aren't religious or you're unable to get your children to go to church, it is definitely worth teaching them the value of meditation and prayer. As, according to the study, those individuals who prayed or meditated on their own schedule had lower risks of developing depression and of substance abuse in later life.
Now, if all that doesn't sound like a great reason to go to church, maybe you promise them a McDonald's breakfast on the way there? That probably would have worked on me...