Two of this month’s Family Table Talk topics are heritage and reading, and we think they complement Thanksgiving perfectly.
That’s because Thanksgiving is the perfect time to explore your family’s heritage: its traditions, its history, and what these mean to you as a family. Did your family originate from a particular country or culture? How has your family’s heritage shaped its language, its food, its celebrations?
Because this year’s traditional Thanksgiving festivities are likely to be curtailed somewhat due to the pandemic, your family may not have the opportunity to mingle with extended family members as they would have in previous years.
But this presents an opportunity to draw your family closer in ways you might not have thought of. You can pass on family lore and discuss what you know of your family’s origins, and how you developed certain traditions and beliefs.
If you don’t know much about your family’s origins, suggest your kids do a little research. They can call, text, Skype, or Zoom with extended family members for stories about their parents and grandparents when they were young, as well as any information about earlier forebears.
You can also encourage your kids to read up on the history of your culture and our shared past, as well as such topics as how their ancestors coped with hardships like the pandemic, or famines, or other calamities.
A love for reading, in fact, is a life skill that will greatly enhance the quality of their lives. It can provide knowledge, expand their horizons, and benefit both physical and mental health, according to numerous studies.
Giving children a firm grounding in how your family’s traditions evolved provides a solid base for establishing their identities, helping them learn who they are and where they come from. Reading opens up the world to them, providing a doorway to the world of facts.
Both of these assets can give them the strength they need to resist the temptations that can lead them into the world of alcohol and drugs.
If you’d like more help in guiding discussions with your family around the table, be sure to subscribe to our Family Table Time kits, which include an agenda for family meetings, as well as helpful conversation starters.