Each and everyone of us has been blessed in our lives. The question might be how to recognize these gifts and celebrate them with our families.
One of the best ways for children to practice gratitude is to recognize and offer thanks for it. One way to practice this is through a ritual you can do every day or as often as you choose. When you sit down for a meal, have each member of the family offer up something that they are thankful for that day. No answer is wrong or too silly. You can also add a candle to the ritual if you wish. The child can offer their thanksgiving when the candle gets lit. This easy ritual creates a time everyday for us to take a moment and recognize our many blessings.
Tangibles: Visual Thanksgivings
What might gratitude look like to a child? A wonderful family project to undertake could create one way to “see” our blessings. Set aside a jar or bowl or some other kind of container with small pieces of paper near it. Invite each member of the family to add a “thanksgiving” to the jar on a daily or weekly basis. (It is fun to have different colored paper as well to create a visual reminder of the vastness of our blessings.) Once the container is full, celebrate with a special “thanksgiving” meal even if it is in March, July or September. Invite family and friends over to celebrate with you so that you can tell them “thank you.”
Resources for Kids:
- “The Secret of saying Thanks” by Douglas Wood
- “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”
Resources for Adults:
- “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan.
- “Life is a Gift” by Izaak Walton
- “365 Thank yous” by John Kralik