“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
There are so many things to be grateful for, and cultivating a culture of gratitude is something that we must consciously work on with our youngest of children. To help your child to build this into their everyday life (not just around the holidays), is for adults to model this often ourselves, through our actions and language.
When at the grocery store, at mealtimes, or when cooking together, we can express to our children how we are thankful to have choices of foods to eat that provide nourishment for our bodies. At such times, thanks can be given to all the different people/events, which make it possible for such foods to grow, transport to the store, enter our homes and make it to our dinner tables.
When snuggling with your child, enjoying a book, you can express gratitude for the stories books tell. Thank the authors who used their imaginations to tell such creative stories or to the photographers who took the pictures, or the artist who used such beautiful colors. Express the joy and gratitude it brings to you as a parent, to spend this time with them. Share appreciation for the opportunities and practice that helped you learn to read.
There are everyday moments we can think of and see as blessings. Try to make a concerted effort to model an “attitude of gratitude” so there is a real awareness brought to your child’s attention. If we are modeling what appreciation looks like, soon you will hear such reflections of appreciation for the big and little treasures life has to offer, creating a more peaceful and content mindset!
Best wishes to you and your families this Thanksgiving. I am grateful for each of you, as parents, for your support, commitment, and dedication to your children.