Everyone has that one buzzkill in their family who has to ruin the fun by saying “Let’s not forget what Thanksgiving is really about”. I know I would groan when I heard that as a kid. And I still do. Because a sentence like that just seems too insincere to have any real impact on anyone, especially when spoken amidst a tradition of gluttony and football.
So try and teach your kids something more applicable this Thanksgiving. Something they can implement into their daily lives. Something that has a bit more influence than a comment made on the offhand. Here are a few lessons you could try.
Be a Sharer Not a Hoarder
Your kid is bound to have a few toys lying around that they never play with. Or if your kids are older, they probably have a few clothes that they never wear.
A valuable lesson you can teach your kids is not to be hoarders. If they don’t think they want to use anything anymore, set it aside and give them away to someone who needs them. Clothes, toys, books and such are always needed in children’s homes.
In doing so, they might be more appreciative of the things they have. Let’s be honest, we live in a materialistic cycle, and your kids will always want new things. But teaching them to share what they have could be a lesson that goes with them a long way.
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Little Acts of Kindness
Being a good human being doesn’t have to be so hard. Sometimes, little acts of kindness speak more volumes than grand gestures. Teach your kids to do something nice for someone as part of their day. This could be leaving a bowl of water for cats and dogs, helping a younger sibling with their homework, or clearing out snow out of a driveway.
There’s power in the little things because your kid will find most things achievable and easy to do, but it also reinstates the notion that they need to be compassionate. Just make sure their little acts of kindness are meaningful and are meant to provide benefit to someone else… not just themselves.
Gratitude all the Way
And finally, another great lesson for your kids is to show gratitude throughout the year… but Thanksgiving is a great day to start this tradition.
You can achieve this by practicing gratitude exercises every now and then. Ask your kids to list down what they’re thankful for. Take a moment from your rigorous routines to remind your kids that they have pretty awesome lives. This helps them be grounded, and allows them to set higher goals for themselves. And like I said earlier, a child embedded in gratitude will grow up to be a more optimistic adult.
Kids don’t always take in abstract concepts in the same way adults do. What do they know what they’re truly supposed to be thankful when a tableful of food awaits them? These three lessons helps break those abstract concepts into tiny, achievable tasks. So as long as they’re genuinely trying to do something nice for themselves and others, go ahead and celebrate the gluttony. Happy Thanksgiving!