With Thanksgiving upon us, we are reminded of the importance of 'giving thanks' for all of the blessings in our lives. So many of us have experienced tragedy, hard times, economic struggles, etc so it can feel difficult to give thanks at times. And then we try to teach our children to 'be thankful' but what does that mean? I think it is more a way of life rather than something we do in November, but giving thanks at any time is a good thing!
Some activities that I like to do with my kids, and what I have done in my classroom, is to teach them what is 'giving thanks.' A cute idea is to do a Thankful wreath. Cut a hole in the center of a paper plate & make leaves out of construction paper. The children can write or draw what they are thankful for and glue it to the Thankful Wreath. Some families engage in prayer. This is a great way to regularly engage in being thankful. Even if you do not subscribe to traditional prayer or religion, you can have discussions with your children about what they can be thankful for (a warm home, a loving family, food, pets, friends).
Focusing on the positive and giving thanks on a regular basis helps us to focus on what is really important and distract us from the everyday, 'small stuff' that they speak of. Sometimes that 'small stuff' doesn't seem so small, until we are faced with a real tragedy. Hopefully you will not be faced with such a tragedy. But I find that even trying to be thankful during my most stressful times helps me to focus on what is really important in life.
So with Thanksgiving upon us, I hope we will all stop to reflect upon what is good in our lives and what we have to be thankful for. If possible, spread this throughout the year. I promise this will enrich your lives. Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my family, my warm home, food on my table, the ability to work, the ability to connect with others, and for all my supportive readers and friends!
For more ideas, please check out my friend's page. This has been such an inspiration to me and many others.