thanksgiving picture

Teach Your Children To be Thankful

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to reflect on all the good in your life and really take time to appreciate friends and family. The big day of celebration is filled with chaos, cooking, laughing, and just being with the people you care about. Sometimes things get so busy that the little kids get lost in the mix and the entire point of the celebration is lost on them. So take some time to read some good children's books about Thanksgiving and start some new traditions that reinforce the importance of thankfulness.

 

boy fall leaves

Ways To Encourage Thankful Behavior In Children

It's very normal for kids to take for granted all of the wonderful parts of their lives. Food, shelter, clothing and security at home are not things little ones naturally take time to appreciate. Beyond these necessities, lots of little ones enjoy what many would consider extra special lifestyles. Opportunities to play team sports or to go on family vacations may seem quite ordinary, but in reality, they are privileges that not everyone enjoys during their childhood. A sense of thankfulness for good fortune is something that parents can cultivate with their children. And Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to begin some traditions that will ultimately teach children to be thankful for their good fortune.

 

thankful sign

 

Start a Tradition Called "Month of Thanks"

Ask your children to think about all the people who have done nice things for them over the past year. Amazing teachers, friends, neighbors, coaches, relatives and anyone else in your child's circle should be in the list. Have your child write a thank you note to all of these special people. Make each note very personal and specific to really make an impact. Encourage your kiddo to write down a particular moment or event that really made a difference. It could be something big like a grandparent taking a child to professional sporting event, or it may be something seemingly small like a friendly neighbor who waves from the window. All of these thoughtful gestures are reasons to be thankful.

 

thank you note

  

Visit a Food Pantry or Participate in a Food Drive

Food on the table is something that many fortunate children take for granted. Full tummies after a meal and lots of snacks in the cabinet for in-between times is something they expect. So unless you teach your children that not everyone has the same good fortune, they will never stop to appreciate their own situation. And they also may never think about what they can do to help others who go hungry. The best way to educate your kiddos is by signing them up to volunteer at a food pantry. Stocking shelves, loading boxes, and delivering Thanksgiving Day meals including turkey, stuffing, and yams to people in need is a wonderful way to open their hearts to their neighbors who are struggling. They will also learn to be thankful for their own food security at home.

 

food pantry

   

Make Thanksgiving Cookies and Deliver Them to a Nursing Home

Many elderly people in assisted living facilities do not have frequent visitors. These seniors may feel depressed, sad, and lonely, especially during the holidays. At the beginning of November, before things get too busy, take a weekend to bake some Thanksgiving cookies with your children. Wrap them up in cellophane, tie the package with a festive bow, and deliver the goodies to a local nursing home. Ideally, your child could walk the hallways and pass out the treats to the residents. Imagine how many spirits would be lifted with this easy, yet impactful, gesture.

 

pumpkin cookies

   

 Books to Read to Your Children Over the Holiday

Thanksgiving Novels for Tweens

Picture Books Featuring Pilgrims

Funny Toddler Thanksgiving Stories

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