Thanksgiving & Giving Thanks

Here’s something that has been on the top of my mind for the past couple of weeks: how can I encourage my kids to be more grateful?! I try to be a positive influence by modeling the behavior I hope they will embrace, but I think this pandemic has shifted so much in our attitudes and thinking about ourselves and our place in the world.

When it comes time to discuss a big topic something I like to do is to share some books with my kids together as a family. Books usually provide the helpful spark we need to get an honest, sincere, and productive conversation going. In this blog post I’m going to share what I’ve done with my kids, link to some wonderful, kid-friendly activities we can all try at home, as well as some things we will do to help others in our community.

A great place to start is by asking your kids: “What does thankfulness or being thankful mean to you?”. It’s helpful to make a list on a piece of paper or chalk board of the things we are thankful for. Children benefit from having strong visual cues, and seeing a list can be a powerful tool. Where will this list-making activity take your conversation? For us, this lead to discussing other words which might mean the same thing, like gratitude and gratefulness. From there, we talked about how we can show or share thankfulness with others. I asked them how it feels when we do this and how does it feel when others show it towards us. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how rewarding this conversation was for all of us! It’s not the first time we’ve done this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

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