Thanksgiving is only weeks away and the turkey isn’t the only thing on our minds. We’re feeling grateful—grateful for your support as we work to bring safety, stability and enduring family relationships to children who have experienced abuse, neglect and homelessness.
According to our friends at givingtuesday.org, “those who practice gratitude feel less anxiety and depression, sleep more soundly and rebound more quickly from illness. Gratitude is also a key component in healthy relationships, helping us to feel closer together and to forgive more readily.”
This Thanksgiving, take some time, either around the dinner table or perhaps before to practice gratitude with the children in your life. Let them discover their unique passions and talents and respond with mindful sincerity.
We’ve collected some easy ways to get the conversation started:
• When is it especially important to say ‘thank you?’ Do you notice when people thank you, or forget to thank you?
• What is your favorite thing in the world to do? Why? How would you feel if you couldn’t do it anymore?
• Draw a picture of a time when someone helped you. "When someone helped me it made me feel _______."
• Talk about two things for which you felt thankful or grateful for today.
• Who is your favorite storybook character? What do you imagine he or she feels thankful for?
• How has your understanding of gratitude changed over the years? What did you feel most grateful for when you were younger? And today?
• Draw a picture of a friend or special family member. "My favorite thing about this person is ________."
• Go around the table and have each family member share something for which he or she is grateful—but in alphabetical order. So maybe you’re thankful for animals, your son is grateful for bananas, and so on until everyone is feeling gratitude from A to Z!
• Give everyone two slips of paper, and have them write down two things that they’re thankful for (these can be silly or serious!). Place the slips in a bowl, pass it around the table, and have different people read the slips out-loud.
• Draw a picture of a gift you gave to someone. "When I give a gift to someone, I feel ______."
• Name a special talent you have. How could you use this talent to help others?
• Think about a person who was there for you during a difficult challenge. Brainstorm three ways you can show them you are thankful for their help.
We hope these conversation starters help you get the gratitude flowing.
We’d love for you to join us in our upcoming #GivingTuesday celebrations. We’ll be sharing our gratitude on Facebook and Twitter for supporters like you as well as how you can make a difference in the life of a child in need of hope.