You’ve seen them starting on Facebook, Friends with a daily post about what they are thankful for this season but what about kids? How do you raise thankful kids? I hate that my daughter asks for ever single toy she sees a commercial for! Doesn’t she know how lucky she is just to have a roof over her head or food in her tummy? Then it dawns on me no, no of course she doesn’t because she has only known those things and never the harsher reality that so many are faced with day to day. That was 2 years ago and since then I have worked hard to make sure my kids grow up giving back and appreciating what they do have.
Where to begin:
We started by teaching her a simple saying, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Reminding her of this saying worked great for food she didn’t want to eat to toys she wanted and we wouldn’t buy her.
Next we took her with to help give back. We have done everything from bell ringing for the Salvation Army to picking a name from the giving tree and letting her pick out the gift to give away to them. There are hundreds of ways even small children can get involved. Our daughter was only 3 when we started taking her along and did great.
This past summer I made her help me make blessing bags for the cars. We tend to have a lot of homeless people on street corners in the summer and this was the perfect opportunity to help her understand what it really meant when we told her people at the soup kitchen or shelters didn’t have a home. When we stopped I would have my daughter get out and give them a bag. What happened was more than I could have ever imagined. She didn’t see the dirt on their clothes or the unshaven sun-beaten faces. She saw a person no different than her just out enjoying the day. She engaged them in conversation asking what they were doing, why they were doing that, how old they were, if they had kids, if she could pet the puppy, the puppy’s name etc. I thought I would teach her something by this experience but instead she taught me and I am so grateful for the lesson. Handing a bag to a stranger full of necessities is one thing but treating them like a person is the world. As an adult it is hard to see past all of the outer layers but as a child she doesn’t see differences. I wish to be more like her and so today I am thankful to have such an amazing little girl.
I plan to continue this daily the whole year in a journal not only for me but the entire family (or at least my daughter and Nate since Ryder is too young to understand.)
I also became aware of an amazing website: http://womensimpact.org/ If you feel the need to give back check out the post from people on this site who are in need. Some are in need of informational type help others are looking for help to get clothing or coats for their kids. You don’t need to help financially to make a difference and this page gives a ton of options to help others. For those who have nothing to give except knowledge or expertise there are women out there that need your help. Check it out. 🙂