Creative Child

Thanksgiving – The Holiday We Shouldn’t Overlook

by Rebecca Eanes



An obvious benefit to celebrating Thanksgiving is in teaching children gratitude. We all want happy kids, and according to research by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, people who practice gratitude feel considerably happier than those who do not. Some of my favorite gratitude-building habits and activities include:

1. Keeping a gratitude journal with your child. Each evening before bed, write down what each of you are grateful for that day. Of course, this could just become a nightly chat rather than a journal. Either way, the habit of looking for things to be grateful for is a good habit to start.

2. Make giving and volunteering a habit. Donate gently used toys and clothing. Take bags of food to the animal shelter. Serve with a local food pantry. Donate books to the library. There are plenty of opportunities to get your child involved in volunteering, and research also shows that volunteering enhances happiness!

3. Have an attitude of gratitude yourself. After all, children learn most by watching what we do!


Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and honor togetherness. Whether it’s to gather around a meal or watching a football game, the focus on spending quality face-to-face time with family is increasingly important in our busy world. These moments build the bonds of family and create feelings of emotional security and fond memories. Traditions that we do together give children a sense of belonging and importance.


Use November to slow down a bit. Pause long enough to notice how much your kids have grown and changed because next Thanksgiving, everything will be different again. Savor the season you are in. Christmas will be here soon enough!

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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