Monday, November 02, 2009

Inspiring Thankful Thoughts & Words In Kids

I often wonder if my son thinks about or knows how to verbalize what he is thankful for. I know he does when it comes to Halloween candy and Christmas presents. The smile on his face, light in his eyes and cheers of joy tell me that. But what about friends and family, love and caring?

We live in a very materialistic world. Television commercials advertise everything my son's heart could possible desire. With Christmas just around the corner, thoughts of toys and other goodies are filling his head. It's up to me to interrupt his train of thought and send it in a completely different direction.

With Thanksgiving just 25 days away, I started thinking this morning, and I think I have come up with a way to inspire thoughts and words of thankfulness for family and friends in my son's head. Best of all, it is completely cost free!

The day before Thanksgiving, I am going to tell my son that after Thanksgiving dinner is completed, and before dessert is served, everyone at the table is going to pick a name out of a hat. Then, one at a time, each of us is going to say out load why we are thankful for the person whose name we picked out of the hat. I will tell him he must select a reason why he is thankful for that person that has nothing to do with presents.

A good example would be: I am thankful for Grandma because every time she sees me, she smiles at me and I know she is happy to see me. A bad example would be: I am thankful for Grandma because every time she comes to visit, she brings me a toy.

I know my son feels loved and cared for, but I want him to realize who the people are that helped him to feel that way and the things that they do that make him feel that way. Even more importantly, I want him to feel comfortable verbalizing those feelings. Hopefully, this Thanksgiving activity will do just that. And you never know, it just might help some of our family and friends, including myself, to do the same. Not just at Thanksgiving, but all year round!

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