Are we truly thankful?

Family & Parenting | Homeschool

As parents, are we instilling in our children a heart of thankfulness?

This Thursday many Americans across the nation will celebrate Thanksgiving. Historically a day to remember God’s provision to those first pilgrims. A day to join with friends and family to reflect on what we are thankful for over a bountiful feast. Let us not forget the newest tradition of this holiday, to carefully study the black Friday ads and plan and plot our route through the store to make sure we get the best deals.

I’m really not sure when the day after Thanksgiving turned into a retail free for all. It kind of feels like someone took the thanks out of Thanksgiving. Oh, I’ve seen this before. In just recent years when I’ve been out shopping during the Christmas season, the store clerks send me off with a “happy holiday” as it’s apparently no longer acceptable to wish someone a Merry Christmas. I suppose if Christ is taken out of Christmas, it was bound to happen that thanks is taken from Thanksgiving.

As for me, I will be thankful, and I will teach my children to be thankful in all circumstances. (1 Thes. 5:18) Regardless of situation, whether it be blessing or trial.

So, how do we teach our children to have an ongoing attitude of gratitude? In our family the littles are amazing imitators, and therefore we strive to model thankfulness. All year long! We pray. We pray for our kids and with our kids. We teach each of them to pray and encourage them to bring all things to God. We help them recognize an answer to pray and to thank God for it. We expect them to say please and thank you, and have them practice it in all situations. We model this by genuinely thanking our Sunday school teachers, store clerks, mailman, etc.

Image
Our thankful tree. Sorry the lighting’s a bit off.

For Thanksgiving we have a tradition of growing a thankful tree. At the beginning of the school year we hang the trunk and branches of a tree(made of construction paper), and up to Thanksgiving we write on pre-cut paper leaves different things we are thankful for. As fall leaves fall outside, thankful leaves grow inside. Guests to our home are also invited to add to our tree.

During homeschool this week we will be practicing another tradition by watching the animated version of William Bradford  and the First Thanksgiving. I have found that with my chatty children watching the movie in the short youtube segments allows time to discuss different questions and observations.

As a completely silly turkey’ish tradition I will leave you with Little Bears favorite Thanksgiving song, and the Magoo and Columbo’s favorite Thanksgiving prank.  On Wednesday, if anyone makes the mistake of saying “turkey” there’s an immediate eruption of:

Thanksgiving craft

(to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Tom tom turkey

tom tom turkey

gobble gobble gobble

gobble gobble gobble

gonna eat you up

gonna eat you up

yum yum yum

yum yum yum.

On that note, give thanks to God for His provision, give thanks for a good sale if you attend one, and guard yourself from the temptation of retail frenzy. 🙂 Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!

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