Teaching Children About Thanksgiving

November 21, 2019

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday dedicated to spending time with family, being thankful for what you have, and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner (not to mention all the leftovers), all without the materialistic focus many other holidays have shifted towards.

With this in mind, it’s important to teach your children the meaning of Thanksgiving and why it’s so important.

Tips For Teaching Children the Meaning of Thanksgiving

There are several ways to teach your children the meaning of Thanksgiving and help to instill the holiday’s values in them.

Turn off the TV

It’s true: Thanksgiving day is accompanied by football, parades, holiday movie/TV specials, and more. However, you should keep the TV off most of the day and focus on spending time with loved ones.

Talk About Thanksgiving’s Origins

Relate your Thanksgiving festivities to the original story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to enjoy a meal and give thanks.

Have Everyone Share Something They’re Thankful For

This one could turn into an annual tradition for your family.

Set some time aside before dinner for everyone to name something they’re thankful for. Doing so reinforces the “being thankful” side of the holiday. Perhaps have each family member write down something they’re thankful for and post somewhere everyone can see.

Discuss Family Memories/Traditions

Everyone’s got Thanksgiving traditions and fun family memories. What are yours? While dinner’s cooking, spend some time talking about your favorite Thanksgiving traditions and family memories. It’s a great opportunity for your kids to learn more about their family, heritage, and history at large.

Start a New Tradition

It’s never too late to start a new Thanksgiving family tradition. Maybe you all bundle up and check out the nearest parade. Perhaps you have a family football game (before dinner, don’t want to get any cramps!). Whatever it is, get the whole family involved.

Many years in the future, your descendants might be talking about the tradition you started!

Get the Kids Involved in Cooking

Getting your kids involved in cooking in some way gives them a sense of pride; they get to contribute to the delicious feast everyone’s about to eat. Not only is this a great way to bond with your kids, but they’ll gain a whole new appreciation (and by extension, gratitude) for the work involved in producing an amazing Thanksgiving feast.

Agree to Disagree

Your family might have its petty squabbles and political disagreements, but Thanksgiving is a time to temporarily forget those differences in favor of being grateful for each other.

It can be tough, but you and the other adults are role models for the children present. Disagree the other 364 days if you must, but put your differences aside on Thanksgiving.

Could Thanksgiving Become Your Kids’ New Favorite Holiday?

Holidays take on a whole new meaning when you learn the purpose behind them. By using these tips to teach your kids what Thanksgiving is really about, they might fall in love with this holiday and look forward to it every year.

But however you spend your holiday, we at Right Steps want to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season!

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