At Thanksgiving, as many families do, we are asked to go around the table and say what we are thankful for. For many adults, this is an easy task and we say things such as "I am thankful for my wonderful family and my health." But, for children, this task can be more difficult and often underlooked. Many children will focus on materialistic things such as they are thankful for their new action figure or video game.
This Thanksgiving, we want you to challenge your children (or students!) to dig a bit deeper and think about not only the things they are thankful for but why they are thankful for them.
Why is this important?
Everyone has can list people and things that they are thankful for, but, the thought seems to stop there. We don't usually look deeper into why we are thankful for those people and things, which can sometimes lead us to take those relationships and opportunities for granted. Being aware and acknowledging why we are thankful for the things that matter most in our lives helps to promote a sense of positivity and optimistic thinking.
When our children are aware of the opportunities and aspects of their lives that are positive, they are more likely to appreciate what they have, take better care of the relationships they have, and act with more kindness.
Helpful Tip: Before beginning, you may want to have a discussion with your child or classroom about the importance of being thankful and what some examples of things to be thankful for are. You may need to help them come up with the "why" part of why they are thankful for that person or situation. To help them come to an answer of "why" on their own you may want to ask questions such as:
- "Why do you like that they do that?
- Why is it important for you to have that?
- How does this person make you feel when they do that?
- Why is it important for you to feel that way?
- "I am thankful for my mom because she helps me understand how I am feeling when I am mad and helps me come up with positive solutions."
- "I am thankful for my big brother because he always lets me play his video games with him and I enjoy feeling included."
- "I am thankful for my teacher because she helps explain my assignments to me and being able to understand what I am supposed to do for a project makes me feel more in control."
- "I am thankful that I can go to school because I get to see my friends and teachers. I feel happy when I get to play with my friends and learn."
- Click on the image below to download and print it out
- Write (or have the child write) his/her/their name on the line next to " 's Thankful Soup
- Have your child brainstorm possible things to be thankful for.
- With a bold colored marker, have the child write 1 word that describes the thing he/she/they are thankful for.
- Fill out each ingredient of the Thankful Soup.
- Once each ingredient has a word that the child is thankful for, have them say why they are thankful for each thing or person.