As parents, we have the responsibility to provide the basic necessities of life for our children – clothing, food, shelter and if you’re reading this, chances are you are amongst the fortunate ones. We all have lots to be grateful for. However, when it comes to teaching our children about gratitude and giving back, shouldn’t we be setting an example all year round rather than just on Thanksgiving?
As the saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words’ and many of us will be donating food, taking our kids to help sort food at the local food bank or to a soup kitchen to help feed those who otherwise couldn’t afford a Thanksgiving meal. And those are all wonderful things to be doing together with our kids that we must continue to do. But what about the other 364 days of the year?
Food banks operate year round and though the big push comes around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, the need (like most charities) is there 365 days a year. But once the media blitz is over, food shelves soon become bare yet again and it is during these times that food banks really could use the help. Therefore, as a parent, I am committed to show my children that giving back doesn’t only revolve around celebratory months but all year round.
Don’t get me wrong, I get we all lead busy lives. Parents work, kids have school, homework, extracurricular activities and parents are stretched thin in terms of time and resources, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be big affair. It can be as simple as saying grace before meals or saying a bedtime prayer (point being, taking the time to reflect how lucky we are each and every day), helping out a neighbour or raising awareness to help others in need by participating in a school campaign or supporting a local charity. Tweens are certainly old enough to lend a helping hand whether it be sorting food or shovelling the driveway of an elderly neighbour.
Thanksgiving only comes once a year, so take the day to reflect back with your children on the year of counting blessings and giving back. You’ll be surprised at how all those acts big or small add up.
How do you teach your kids about gratitude and giving back?
Image courtesy of nongpimmy/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.