Each year we all look forward to Thanksgiving Day. It resounds with echoes of the very foundation upon which America was built. Pausing in our busy schedules to ‘give thanks’ for the blessings of our wonderful lifestyle, we are reminded that despite the current economic crisis, we have much to be thankful for.
But the other 364 days of the year, are we practising thankfulness and gratitude? Are we teaching our children gratitude by our example? And more importantly, are we teaching our children how to express gratitude on a daily basis in their lives?
Children are very observant. They are excellent at determining a contradiction between our actions and our words. And they know when a tradition has lost its’ meaning by how well it is held up in their lives on a daily basis.
Being grateful for what you can determine that you already have is one thing. But it is also possible, and necessary to teach our children how to express gratitude for what they ‘would like to have’. This is more commonly known as making an affirmation.
Have you ever thought about why the practise of making affirmations has begun to be very popular?
It’s because when you affirm the way you would like something to be, you are focused on what you either have now or want to have. That focus produces joy and happiness. It feels good.
Another way to explain it could be it is life giving you what your mind believes it should have. It’s refusing to focus on what things you feel life has not delivered yet and having the expectation of life for the future.
It’s all about ‘focus’. When you are being grateful and expressing gratitude, you simply can’t focus on what you don’t have.
What would you rather do? Focus on what you have or want to have and enjoy the feelings of happiness and joy?
Or would you rather focus on what you don’t have, what you fear will happen and what you consider to be completely out of your reach?
Which one of these skills would you like to teach your children?
Which one of these skills will enrich your child’s life and encourage your child?
Which one will bring happiness and which one will bring sadness?
Even if you don’t believe in affirmations, you can believe in the importance of making the Thanksgiving Day tradition relevant to your child’s daily life today and every day. Don’t allow Thanksgiving Day to be some kind of dinosaur tradition in your child’s eyes. Make ‘thanksgiving’ relevant every day.
Talk Back to me. I want to know what you think!