The first Thanksgiving was all about gratitude. So is the reason we celebrate it today. So one of the topics in this month’s Family Table Time activity kits focuses on the subject of gratitude.
We often take our good fortune in life for granted, as Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” reminded us many years ago: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone . . .”
So developing a habit of gratitude is the practice of regularly stopping to notice and appreciate the things we tend to take for granted: a home, food on the table, clothes, our health, electricity, running water, and on and on.
It’s also the practice of remembering to thank others for the things they do for you.
Benefits of being thankful
Not only does an attitude of gratitude make people happier, but studies have shown that children who are frequently grateful are more satisfied with their lives, have better grades in school, enjoy better physical health, and are psychologically more well-adjusted than their less grateful peers.
Children, of course, model their parents’ behaviors, so when we thank someone in their presence, we can subtly reinforce the lesson by turning to the child and explaining why you expressed gratitude:
“Wasn’t that nice of Mrs. Jones to bring us this cake? Now we’ll have a special dessert after dinner!”
Developing the habit
Many families have a Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table and having everyone tell about something they’re especially thankful for.
But there’s no reason to limit this practice to once a year. It can be a weekly or even nightly ritual at the dinner table. Our Family Table Time kit can provide you with ideas to help get the conversation going.
So why not try it this month? You can get a free four-week subscription that also includes quick, easy, and healthy family recipes and suggestions for fun family physical activities.
Finally, make it a habit of your own to thank your children for the things they do, whether it’s helping around the house, or performing kindness for one of their friends.