We are not wealthy. In fact, we are far from it. However, my children have always had food on the table, a roof over their heads, clothes to wear, and more. Yet, this Thanksgiving, I want my daughter (my son is just a baby) to appreciate the small things in life. Here are some ways I'm making sure I have a thankful child this Thanksgiving.
We're thankful for poster
My sister-in-law did this with her kids last year. This year, I'm stealing the idea. Basically, you take a poster or big piece of paper and put it up on a wall. Then, brainstorm some things that you are thankful for. If the kids are old enough, they can write on the poster. Younger children can draw pictures. You would be surprised about all of the things your family has to be thankful for.
Take part in a canned food drive
My children don't have a clue what it is like to be hungry. This is why we will be collecting cans for our church's canned food drive. You can go door-to-door asking neighbors for canned food donations. My MOMS club puts together entire boxes of non-perishable goods to donate to families in need.
Sometimes, it's good for kids to hear a story where people have to find the "silver lining" in a bad situation. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings is a great example. These uplifting tales are a perfect read-aloud for the entire family.
Remembering to say thank you
A simple thank you can go a long way. When my daughter remembers to put her dish in the sink or throw her trash away, I will tell her thank you. There are many ways to encourage being thankful. You could have a thankful sticker chart. When a member of the family says a genuine "thank you," add a sticker. Fifty stickers could earn family fun time like a movie night or hot chocolate party.
Being thankful everyday
Being thankful can't only happen during Thanksgiving. We need to model saying "please" and "thank you" on a daily basis and remind our children to do so too. Volunteering at an animal shelter, soup kitchen or church can help kids be more compassionate. When a child receives a gift, encourage him or her to write thank you notes. You can also write thank you letters to troops, teachers and grandparents.
Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for reminding kids, and parents, to be thankful 365 days of the year.Sources:
Canfield, Jack. Bryan, E. Robinson, L. Newmark, A. Hanson, M. Victor Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings: 101 Stories of Gratitude, Fortitude, and Silver Linings
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