Friday, October 9, 2009

So Much To Be Thankful For

As we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on those things in our life that we have to be thankful for. Sometimes the busyness of the holiday weekend or general relief for an extra day off, distracts us from the many wonderful things we have to truly be grateful for.

Approaching life with an attitude of gratitude is something I try to do and is something I've tried to teach my children as well. We are we, as parents are to celebrate the good things in our lives, the more likely our children are to develp the same habit.

Here are some ways to demonstrate and teach thankfulness as outlines by

  • Appreciating one another's health, abilities and accomplishments is an excellent way to reflect on all the reasons to be thankful from the past year. You'll all get great ideas for your Turkey day grace and you'll be thankful for the time spent relaxing together during the busy season.

  • Thankful time as a family presents a great opportunity to take family holiday photos, or watch family movies to further reiterate everything you are all thankful for. Pass around a bowl of popcorn, grapes or snack mix and with every handful say something nice to the person to your right. Play charades with a thankful theme. Any time spent together that stimulates a thankful state of mind will be beneficial to your family.

  • Start a Turkey day diary. Purchase a notebook or journal for your family to pass around the weeks before Thanksgiving. Having each member take the time to jot down what they're thankful for gives each one of you a quiet time to reflect on the past year. Letting younger family members dictate their thoughts, and giving teens colored pens to add their personal flair add other elements to your family's 'Thankful Time Capsule'. Year after year, you all can add your thankful thoughts to the diary and recollect what you noted the year before.

  • Have the entire family hand sign the holiday cards that you'll send to friends, neighbors and family. You'll show the card recipients that they are appreciated since you each took the time to sign the cards and add a personal note or a smiley face.

  • Many parents take the time to notice the paper delivery person, mail carrier, hair stylist, and household assistants during the holidays. Involving your children in this act helps them appreciate all the subtle support and services they receive throughout the year. Enlisting your kids to help shop for gifts, bake cookies, or put together baskets of bread and spreads lets them know you're proud to show your respectful thanks. Your child will feel honored to deliver gifts he has helped to create, and will learn it is important to show thanks in many different settings.

  • Hearts aren't just for February. • Gather up your family and bake a batch of heart-shaped sugar cookies. Decorating the cookies with fall-colored frosting, sprinkles, and the word 'Thanks' painted with frosting gel sends a thank you that's straight from the heart. Send the thank you cookie in wax paper bags adorned with your child's message of 'Thanks from the bottom of my heart' to coaches, teachers, bus drivers, and mentors. Reserve some cookies for your family to pass to one another to recognize acts of kindness among siblings.

  • Trace your child's handprints (fingers pointed up and slanted) opposing each other on a piece of letter-sized paper. Their thumbs and index fingers form a heart in the middle of the page to write a thankful message to a teacher, such as, 'Thanks for helping me to read" or 'Your math class was the best.’ Add thankful words and phrases on each of the fingers to strengthen the heartfelt message.

I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday is meaningful and restful and provides you the opportunity to reflect on all that you have to give thanks for this season.

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