– A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
With Thankgiving around the corner, tendersaplingdada and I have been reflecting on the many blessings in our lives, foremost among them — our children. As any parent with sleeping children has experienced, it’s in those precious moments of peacefulness that we pause and can most easily see the incredible gift in our hands.
We’ve also been feeling incredibly thankful to have a wee business and blog that is gradually growing and developing (psst – we’re so excited to have lots of new products coming out this week!). While we don’t post quite as often as we might like, we appreciate this cozy space where we can meet you and hopefully support you in your path as a parent, educator, grandparent, or friend of children. And we are thankful for the opportunities to learn from you along the way.
Here is a favorite post from last year about gratitude. It shares a simple but powerful learning we had as a family last year. In math terms, it might be expressed: giving thanks = words + actions 🙂 As a mother, I’ve found it incredibly helpful this last year to guide my little ones not just to say words of thanks, but to show thankfulness through their actions.
I also love this post because it presents a Gratitude Challenge:
1) Words – Strive to feel the gratitude in your heart when you voice your thanks to someone. Make sure the soul is truly speaking.
2) Deeds – Try to express your gratitude with an act of service of some sort. When a direct action related to your thought of thankfulness is not easily attainable or obvious, you can always start with a smile and a prayer in your heart to be directed to act in a way that shows your gratitude.
I’m glad to have reread it as it reminds me to practice this regularly with my children. I invite you to try it too!
But let’s go back to the beginning of the post, so you can read a bit more and find a fun and simple activity to do with the kids – collect leaves on a nature walk and then create Gratitude Leaves for a Thankfulness Tree:
“This time of year my soul feels as if it’s sipping a mug of delicious hot apple cider – there is so much heart-warming thankfulness floating in the air from everyone around me. For all our readers around the world, this Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, so we’re neck high in turkeys, Pilgrims, and, most wonderfully, lots of giving of thanks. It’s one of my favorite American holidays as I always find joy in the communal act of pausing to give thanks for the simple things, past and present.
“This year I’ve tried something new with the children. We directed our thankfulness thoughts to the future as well. Nah, we don’t have a crystal ball. I wasn’t suggesting that the kids be thankful for an unknown future – though there’s value being thankful for the promise of tomorrow, a brighter future ahead.
“Instead, I shared with them something I’d been reflecting on lately. That thankfulness is of two kinds – words and deeds. There is giving thanks through one’s words by saying “Thank You” and the like. And then there is showing gratitude through one’s actions.
This became the theme of an activity we did –> Read more here!
What ways do you like to cultivate gratefulness in your little ones? You might like this list of ten ideas my friend Chelsea created at Moments a Day.
Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours!