Sharing the Meaning of Thanksgiving with Your Children

By: Symone Grady

iStock_22451246_LARGE.jpgThanksgiving is a special holiday. It's a day that lets us unplug from the stresses of everyday life. We are able to slow down and spend time with loved ones and being thankful for all that we love.

So before you pull up to the table to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, consider the opportunities this day presents to teach children about the important values of Thanksgiving, such as thankfulness, gratitude, and family.

Here are a few tips to teach and model important lessons during this holiday:

  • Talk about why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Share the original story of the fall harvest celebration that brought together struggling, starving Pilgrims and generous Native Americans with your children.
  • Talk about family traditions. Talk about your family traditions, and your own childhood. Stories teach children about life and history. You can even take this opportunity to create new traditions to celebrate in the years to come!
  • Talk about your Thanksgiving feast. Talk to your family about the foods that will be served. Some foods are traditions in themselves. You can even take it a step further and allow your child to help you prepare some of the dishes. 
  • Be thankful. Ask everyone at the table to share something they are thankful for. You could even hang poster board on the wall and ask everyone to write things they are thankful for throughout the day.
  • Share & donate. This day is about sharing. Develop a tradition of sharing with those who have less and involve children in contributing to a food shelter or other charities. This can help children to be thankful for what they have and learn the importance of helping others.

Tags: November Give Thanks, National Give Thanks Month, thanksgiving, Holidays