Dear Berry Patch Families,
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for families to gather, celebrating the gift we have in our relationships with one another and the blessings we have been given. Growing an attitude of gratitude in children is a foundational piece of parenting. Recognizing both the large and small gifts in life and cultivating a grateful heart is the goal.
The adage, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” comes to mind. Adults who express thankfulness in all circumstances are modeling a thankful and gracious heart to their children. From thanking the cashier at the grocery store to handwritten notes of appreciation after receiving a gift, children learn the meaning of truly appreciating others.
Fostering gratefulness is an ongoing task. This month, Thanksgiving offers a special opportunity to be intentional in encouraging kids to be gracious and thankful.
• Start the meal off by saying grace, thanking God for the food as well as the family members and friends gathered around the table.
• Be intentional in thanking all who contributed to the meal. Often times the ones we live with daily are forgotten…the ones who pay for the meal and prepare it.
• During dinner, ask guests to choose one person/thing they are most grateful for this past year.
• If you’re visiting others for the holiday, send a thank you note to the hosts of your Thanksgiving celebration. Have your children sign the card too.
• Take time during the day to talk as a family. Determine what charities you’ll support for the upcoming holidays. The Berry Patch School’s Children Serving Others (CSO) is one idea. Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on experience in giving for young children. Find an organization everyone can take part in supporting.
• Start discussing who lives close to home and could use a little help over the holidays. Is there a neighbor, elderly couple at church, or a single parent you know that would appreciate a assistance?
When children take the time to say, “Thank you” they learn to be grateful. When they think of others rather than themselves, they learn to be kind.
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful…” Proverbs 15:13a
May you and your family be blessed this Thanksgiving season!
Becky Danielson, M.Ed.
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
The Berry Patch School