Thanksgiving is not just a holiday; it is an opportunity to teach your kids what it is to be thankful and to give to others. Gratitude is a family virtue that parents can begin to teach their children at a very young age. Here is a great example of how a simple story can model for your children thanksgiving.
“One family tells their son a story about his grandmother who, during the Great Depression, once received only an orange for Christmas but ‘it was the sweetest orange she ever had and she was grateful.’ Each year, along with his other gifts, the son receives an orange as well.
His mother remembers, when our son was 3 and heard this story, he just focused on how his grandmother didn’t get any toys. When he was 7, he said he felt sad for his Grandma just getting the orange and wanted to get her something ‘really good’ that year for Christmas. By the time he was 11, he really got the point of the story. When we handed him his Christmas orange, he told us, ‘You know, I think mine is the sweetest I ever had, too.’ The story really became a way for him to connect with our past as a family.” – Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families www.zerotothree.org/thankful
The “Raising a Thankful Child” article from the Zero to Three website gives parents great guidelines on how to teach thanksgiving every day of the year! So be sure to read the entire article @ www.zerotothree.org/thankful
Donating to the local food drive at my kids elementary was always a tradition in our family. It started by having my kids picking out cans at the grocery store and then giving them to families less fortunate. Don’t just tell your kids that they should give, show them how to give!
What is your tradition going to be?
It’s more blessed to give then to receive, Dr. Ann
*Coming soon: Pocket Full of Feelings, a product for family emotional literacy learning.