In a world that is quick to emphasize status, worth and stuff, it’s easy to lose sight of what we DO have and even easier to not make the time to really appreciate it.
With the Thanksgiving holiday this month, it’s a great time to be intentional about fostering a grateful spirit in our families.
Being intentional about raising kids with an attitude of thanksgiving has long-term benefits.Research has found that middle school students who focused on the things for which they were grateful for just two weeks were more optimistic, more satisfied with school and more generous than those students who only focused on hassles and the negative.
One of the best ways to raise kids who are grateful and exhibit an attitude of thanksgiving is to be a great role model. Kids will be grateful when we show them how.
So why not use the month of November as a catalyst growing gratefulness in your family by creating a family “Thankful” board that you can display prominently in your home and be reminded of all of the thing that you have in your lives to be grateful for?
It’s easy to create a board that every member of your family can use.
All you need is a frame with the glass front (we used an 8x10 frame from the dollar store), a light-colored sheet of card stock, letter stickers and other embellishments, and a dry erase marker.
Trim the card stock so that it fits the frame, then decorate with stickers and other designs. We used our letters to spell “We Are Thankful”, but you could also title it “Our Thankful Board” or “Thank You For.” Make it personal for your family.
Place the decorated card stock sheet underneath the glass and hang or place your board in a spot where everyone can read and contribute.
Then, as things come to you, use the dry erase marker to add them to the board. The marker will wipe right off the glass with a paper towel and a little water, making it easy to add more and more things.
Start off with the small things (creamer for your coffee or fuzzy socks) and then move on to the big things (a new home, good friends, a job after unemployment, a good bill of health after illness); the objective is to simply take some time to be thankful.
“It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.” - Unknown