The day for rest, family, and giving thanks is nearly upon us. While you and your family bond on Thursday, whether it’s you, your spouse and children or a whole big family gathering, take the time to really think about what you wish to give thanks for. Talk to your children about this concept and share what makes you feel happy and grateful. It can be a lovely time to come together as a family and give thanks for each other, for birth parents, and so much more.
For younger children, this concept is especially good at teaching gratitude and learning to appreciate small blessings. Social scientists, such as Dr. Christine Carter, studied how grateful children are more likely to grow into happier adults and that the concept of thankfulness (and the ability to be thankful) is not an inherent trait. It’s something people can learn and children can be taught, just like learning a new language. To embrace this concept with your children on Thanksgiving, try some of these suggestions and remember to simply be thankful for each other!
Does your church offer volunteer opportunities? Or perhaps your local community finds a Meals On Wheels program. Whatever the option, volunteering with your children is a great way to show gratitude for what you have and your desire to help others. Volunteering is also something that can be done year round as a family and sets a wonderful tone for children as they grow up.
Shop for Others
The next time you are at the grocery store or mall with your children, encourage them to pick out one or two items. It could be canned goods, gloves, warm socks, or a blanket. Then after you are done shopping, take your kids with you to the local shelter or food bank and let them donate the items.
Speak with your child’s teacher to see what lessons they are learning around Thanksgiving. Then you can build on those at home, asking them what they think the Pilgrims were thankful for and what a Pilgrim would be thankful for now. If your children are old enough to write, have them write a letter of thanks to someone that they appreciate. This is also an activity the entire family can do and then you can read the letters around the dinner table.
All of these opportunities are a great way to teach children how to show thanks and we hope you and your family have a thankful and wonderful Thanksgiving.