Now that the Halloween festivities are behind me, I’m excited to shift focus to Thanksgiving. Part of this year’s Thanksgiving projects around our home is the “Thankful Jar”. Jake is about to turn 4 and I’m finding that as we near this milestone we are able to have more in depth conversations with him. I want to raise a child with a grateful heart. But it’s a challenge in a lifestyle where we are fortunate to give him everything he needs and then some. From swim lessons to clothing, his every need is met. We work hard to do so, but how awesome is that? As someone who has traveled extensively both within the US and well beyond, the weight of that is not lost on me.
My children’s needs are met.
If you have ever spoken with a mother or father who can’t say the same it is forever life changing. That sentence has so much weight attached to it. It can break your heart and move mountains.
Of course a four-year-old doesn’t understand the complexities of all that. But they do have the emotional intelligence to understand the concept of thankfulness. It could be for a favorite stuffed animal, or that they learned to ride their bike. Or even thankful that you let them choose an item from their Halloween stash.
Recognizing how to be thankful is something that can be demonstrated by us as parents. So, this year I decided to create the “Thankful Jar” as a lead up to Thanksgiving. It might also help with thinking of the holiday as more than turkey and football! Here’s how we are making the Thankful Jar work in our home. Each day starting on November 1st, we take a piece of paper and declare one thing we are thankful for that day. Then we place it in the jar. On Thanksgiving we can take out all of the notes and read them out loud. Oh the power of reading 26 things you are thankful for out loud! It has impact!
Have you ever done something like this? How do you inspire gratitude in your children?