you want to use Thanksgiving Day 2004 to begin becoming a more grateful
family? Giving thanks for one's blessings on Thanksgiving is traditional.
Feeling grateful every day is an attitude and a way of experiencing
life. If you wish to cultivate gratitude as a family value, here
are a few questions designed to make giving thanks an integral,
daily part of every family member's life.
can we give thanks every day?
on creating both individual and family rituals and practices of
gratitude, like gratitude journals, being physically affectionate,
family prayer and expressing words of appreciation and encouragement
to each other (perhaps exchanged at the dinner table). Giving thanks
on a daily experience establishes gratitude as a priority.
do we take for granted that we might express thanks for every day?
all need to open our eyes and to appreciate our daily gifts, like
food, shelter, clothing, friendship, good health, the beauty of
nature and the kindness of others. Talking about what could increase
our awareness of these daily blessings would be productive.
doing for others a way of expressing gratitude?
how helping others is gratitude in action. You might not only prepare
and/or help serve a holiday meal for a shelter but also talk about
how your family can make a commitment of time and service to this
shelter on a regular basis. Expressing gratitude by actively helping
others on an ongoing basis can be one of your family's gratitude
attributes do you possess that you are thankful for?
self-examination encourages self-gratitude, helping us pause to
appreciate our skills, talents and personality traits. If we have
lost sight of our special gifts, this gives family members an opportunity
to point them out to us - "You are the best listener. You always
manage to cheer us up when were down. You can fix anything
has treated you with kindness and generosity and how would you like
to thank them?
toward others can take many forms - a homemade gift, a thank you
card, a phone call, a spontaneous favor. Remembering those who have
made us feel special and valued encourages us to become more aware
and appreciative of human kindness. You might discuss showing your
gratitude by passing on their kindness through your own acts of
your children by example how to make their gratitude known is at
the core of teaching them how to appreciate and celebrate the abundance
in their lives. These are lessons taught throughout a lifetime,
not merely the discussions held on the fourth Thursday of November.
Kendrick, Ed.M.,LCSW received his undergraduate and graduate degrees
from Harvard University and is a licensed psychotherapist. He offers
individualized personal coaching for parents of adolescents at connectwithyourteen.com.
Kendrick has been named by Family PC magazine as the best Internet
expert on parenting teens.