Parenting Tips: Thanksgiving Activities That Teach Gratitude

There is a lot to be grateful for living in Central Florida. We’re surrounded by beautiful oceans on either side and rivers and likes wind their way through our peninsula. Our weather is temperate and this year we managed to avoid any big summer storms. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to celebrate home, family, and all of the other blessings you have in life. But how do you teach your children to practice gratitude during the holiday season?
Here are some parenting tips for practicing gratitude as a family.

Head Outside
Here in Volusia County, we’re surrounded by beautiful natural habitats. From the ocean, rivers, and springs to the scrub pine forests and nature preserves there are endless opportunities to experience the natural world right outside your door. Consider visiting some local nature and while you’re there invite your children to join you in giving thanks for what they see. Your youngest children, depending on their age, may simply be grateful for each leaf and flower. But as they get older you might encourage them to think about gratitude on an even larger scale. For instance, they may be grateful for the people who take care of the land, or thankful that the land offers a safe place for animals to live.

Take Action
Another great way to instill a sense of gratitude in your children is to give them the chance to volunteer with local charities. Giving to others is an excellent way to open up your own heart and feel a sense of gratitude for all you’ve been given in life. During this holiday season, one popular way to give back to the community is to provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

Local churches in our community accept volunteers to help provide meals to the homeless, and some grocery stores even allow you to purchase a bag of food for a local family. Or you could partner with local businesses who host cleanups of local beaches and downtown DeLand. Sign up to participate in activities like these and give your kids the chance to feel the joy of giving back to their own community.

Focus on Your Family
Finally, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to give thanks for family. Turn off the television and put away the devices and commit to spending uninterrupted time together playing games, going for walks, and finding creative new ways to play. As parents, you get to take the lead in the gratitude department. Our most valuable gratitude parenting tip is this: if you practice gratitude, your children will learn from you and follow suit. So take this opportunity, a season set aside for giving thanks, and act out these values so that your children will learn from your example.

Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year to practice gratitude, but it’s a great reminder. We hope you enjoy this season and take all the time you can to relax with your family and be grateful for all you have this year. If you’d like to read more of our parenting tips, or if you’d like to become more involved with the St. Barnabas School Community, contact us today.

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