¡Gracias! Thank you! Thanksgiving Day let’s teach children to express gratitude.
As children we were all told to say those words to express gratitude for someone’s kindness. Raising polite and grateful little humans has always been the job of the adults. Of course, children copy what they see and hear, particularly from their parents. When was the last time you were able to reflect on your gratitude? What are you thankful for this year? Today?
When November hits the calendar, many families start making plans for Thanksgiving Day. What’s for dinner? Who are we inviting to share it with us? What do we need to buy for the groceries? Will our favorite football team be playing a game on TV? We are often in a rush to do the holiday “right” that we bypass the true sentiment of the holiday. Since the focus becomes so much on the success of the Thanksgiving Day feast, it may be easier and more meaningful to focus on the things and people we are thankful for as soon as the month of November hits the calendar.
This November, challenge your family members to think about their gratitude each day of the month. This is a fun and easy task for each family member because age is not a barrier for this activity. All you need are a pencil, small pieces of paper and a container such as a mason jar, an empty pail or a big manila envelope. Ask each family member to write down something they feel thankful for, and help the little ones write down their thoughts, too. The young ones can also draw a quick picture and you can write down their explanation of the drawing. Do this each day, and place the pieces of paper in the container your family chooses to use.
Do this each day of the month, and on Thanksgiving Day during dinner take the Container of Thankfulness and share the sentiments in it. It will be uplifting to hear all of the beautiful words each of your family members has shared for the month. Whether someone is thankful for relatives, a toy, or an event that occurred on a particular day, it will be a delight to relive those thoughts together. Moreover, it will build a habit in your children. Your children will learn that regardless of how tough things may seem on a particular day we all have plenty for which we should be grateful.
I encourage you to try this small activity with your family. Expressing and feeling gratitude is what brings humanity together. This activity will give you a glimpse into the hearts of your family members while also giving you the opportunity to share your sentiments with them.
There is so much to give thanks for each day. Reflect and have fun.
~By Diana P. a “mamá latina”