At University City Children's Center our traditional Thanksgiving feast is a community building celebration, a time of sharing and giving.
Children embrace traditions
By following your families traditions or establishing new traditions, your goal should be to move the spirit of Thanksgiving from a one-day, once a year event to a basic life attitude. Family traditions, such as special routines, sharing gratefulness to family member, making special holiday foods for the family, or singing holiday songs together can help keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive. As part of this, we need to model thankfulness and joy for our children. This means being thankful no matter what our situation is in life, being strength based. Thankfulness means that we are grateful for all experiences and we can learn from all experiences.
Young children learn empathy
Encourage your children to express their thankfulness to their family and friends. Set aside time each day to reflect on the activities of each day. Express gratefulness for the small things in life. Guide your children by pointing out opportunities for them to take the initiative in engaging in random acts of kindness. When you’re out shopping, encourage them and model for them how to help others. Hold the door for others. Offer to return someone's cart to the corral. Allow others to go first. Demonstrate random acts of kindness for your children. Empathy is a concept that children can learn from a very early age, so look for and take advantage of teachable moments.
Parents are role models
Thanksgiving is a family affair. When you give back as a family, your children will see Mom and Dad as role models. Bonus: You’ll all grow closer to each other because of this shared experience. Thanksgiving becomes more than just another holiday but an ongoing family tradition...a tradition of giving thanks, every day!
Post by Steve Zwolak