Like with many other commercialized holidays, the valuable lessons behind Thanksgiving can often be lost in the hustle and bustle of meal preparation, holiday traveling, or even the infamous Black Friday. Because of this, it is important that we take the time to teach our children the life lessons associated with Thanksgiving. Below are 5 things that I think every child should learn about Thanksgiving.
1. It’s called “Thanksgiving” for a reason. Try to veer away from referring to this holiday as “Turkey Day”, and encourage your children to do the same. This will help them remember that this holiday is about much more than just a turkey and the trimmings. Also be sure to remind them that while Thanksgiving is only one day a year, a thankful attitude is expected year round.
2. Cherish time with family. With school, jobs, and everything in between, spending quality time with your family can often seem like a task in and of itself. Although it’s not true for every family, most American families can’t even sit together at the dinner table without the eruption of a cell phone buzzing or the television blasting in the background. Teaching your children the importance of spending time with family is something that they will cherish forever. However spending quality time with your family during the holiday season is not enough. Try sitting down at the dinner table for at least one meal each day, if not more. The psychological effect that spending time with family has on young children will become more and more evident as they get older.
3. Helpfulness and Responsibility. With all the meal planning and preparation, Thanksgiving is a great time to teach your children how to lend a helping hand and become more responsible. You can do this by assigning them various tasks that will assist you with your duties in preparing for the holiday. Another way to teach them helpfulness is to organize a family volunteer day. A few ideas would include serving food at a soup kitchen, passing out turkeys and canned goods at local drives, or handing out food to the homeless.
Ultimately it is vital that we not only teach our children not to lose sight of the importance of the holiday season, but that we do so ourselves. Thanksgiving is a time to bond with our immediate and distant family members, express of thankfulness, and lend a helping hand to those in need. Happy Thanksgiving!