Today we begin a long holiday season. I recognize this is just a busy time for families and caregivers of children. The amount of time, energy and stress the holidays add to us is sometimes overwhelming. Because of our busyness, I think it is just so good to stop and acknowledge the many blessings we have in life, especially for families and relationships.
What we share that advertising fails to mention
Our advertising world would like to convince us that our needs are so many and their products, as special gifts, can meet these needs. Yet, the basic and most important needs we all share is safety, love and acceptance. That is why taking some time for expressing gratitude can be a great way to build families and relationships.
One of our trainers, Pam Nicholson, wrote the following words that apply to parents and caregivers:
So often parents get caught up in the day-to-day efforts of everyday living, and forget to notice the wonder of their unique children. Giving our thanks specifically to our children this month could have a positive impact on their self-esteem and on your family relationships. Remember to thank them not only for cooperative behavior, but also for who they are.
Some examples are:
- I am glad you are my daughter.
- I appreciate you just because you’re you.
- I enjoy spending time with you.
Focus on their capabilities and improvements.
- Thanks for helping with the dishes.
- Thanks for sharing your toys so willingly.
- I appreciate how you kept working until it was all cleaned up.
These “thanksgivings” can be given verbally or in writing. Napkin notes are especially fun to send in school lunches. Or place sticky notes in drawers, on mirrors, on YOU!
The little expressions of thanks and appreciation are often the ones your children long remember. It tells them of simple things you notice and affirm, and these things make a huge difference in your family and to your children.
We have the choice of buying into the discontentment that the advertising world can bring—where there is temptation to just want more. Or we can be overtly thankful for our children, our friends and our families. We can reflect on the blessings of life to each other.
This season is a great opportunity to do that. I am so thankful for all of you who are reading this blog and wish you and your family a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network