Tips on how to teach your children positive lessons this Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 2:03 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Whether this Thanksgiving is one of bountiful blessings or surviving hardships, for many it will be a time to sit with the family and reflect on another year.

If you’re sitting down with children, it’s a great chance to teach lessons in thankfulness.

Blogger Carissa Garabedian from Macaroni Kid Richmond has a few great ideas.

She says it’s helpful to give your kids examples of things to be thankful for that aren’t material items.

For example, having someone tie your shoes, hold the door for you, or make you dinner.

While kids are out of school, you may have a little more time together.

Consider having them write a thank you note to someone who helped them this year, and then encourage that practice throughout the year.

There is something so special about receiving mail, Garabedian says. A child that is too young to write can draw a picture or even use a handprint. That can turn into a lifelong memory on the receiving end.

When your child does something kind without being asked, reinforce those behaviors. Tell them you noticed them helping someone else, saying kind words, or sharing.

Children watch adults closely, so Garabedian says to not just lead with your words, lead with actions.

She says to try not to complain about the things we have no control over, such as traffic and weather.

Consider finding ways for your child to pitch in at home this holiday so they are thankful for the work it takes to keep the family running.

Volunteer and build memories around experiences versus things.

Garabedian says her family uses a Thanksgiving gratitude jar, where everyone can write something that they’re thankful for.

Put the blessings in before dinner, and share them during.

Thanksgiving is a time we all count blessings and think about what we’re thankful for.