How to Use Thanksgiving to Teach Your Child About Appreciation

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Multi Generation Family eating Thanksgiving dinnerThanksgiving is a time to show appreciation and to spend time with loved ones, but as a host or hostess do you ever find yourself wondering if your hard work is appreciated? Don’t worry, there are ways to involve your family in the preparation to help them recognize the true meaning of Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving history– Teaching your children the origins of Thanksgiving will help them understand there’s more to the holiday than turkey and pumpkin pie.

Lead by example– Encourage the expression of gratitude by voicing thanks every chance you get, from a simple “thank you” to “I’m really happy we are able to spend this time together”. You may think they’re not paying attention, but your children learn more from you than you realize.

Enlist their help– Allow them to help with preparation any way they can. They will appreciate your hard work more if they are a part of it, and it will take some of the weight off your shoulders. 

Decorate together– Help the kids make some fun decorations and allow them to decorate and set the table.

Place cards– Make place cards for all guests and have the kids write little notes inside each one. This will help teach kids how to express appreciation and make guests feel welcome and loved. 

Share Thanks– Before starting to eat, go around the table and have everyone name something they are thankful for. 

Start a journal– Work together to start a journal of blessings. Keep it going throughout the year to give you plenty to discuss at dinner next Thanksgiving! 

Spend time together– Instead of everyone going off to their own activities as soon as dinner is finished, spend the evening together relaxing, playing Thanksgiving games, or working on your blessings journal. 

These things can be done all year long to lead to more positive attitudes and happier families!

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