Gratitude, as any other gesture, begins in the home, all through the year, not just at Thanksgiving. A child says what they themselves hear. Do you say thank you to your child? Do you remark how grateful you are to be in their world? Do they hear how much you love them and no matter what challenges come along, you'll face it together? My child hears this every day.
I'm forever thankful for becoming my grandson's "mommy" Mimi eight years ago. His life, his old soul, is filled with spirit, love, gratitude, joy.
This past spring, his right femur was broken. I'd never experienced such a traumatic health issue with my now grown children and having it happen to my grandson, threw me off the ledge with intense emotion. I never left his side. I never stopped praying. When the physical therapist helped him sit in the wheelchair, I thought I would collapse until I saw my amazing child breathing deeply and methodically. He was in control and I was so grateful. I asked him about it, and he simply said he learned meditation breathing from Tammy, so he did it all on his own.
When he returned to school, wheelchair and all, he earned "class bucks" and used it to buy extra free time for the whole class. That is how my grandson lives. He always thinks of others.
This summer we had many experiences, some new to us. We created a photo book to document his journey. Everywhere we visited, he commented on how many handicapped parking spaces were available; were there enough? Today, he's running, climbing, healthy and happy.
Yes, I am grateful for being able to be with my child and to see and hear his words and gestures of gratitude and giving each day.
Don't be shy telling your child what you are grateful for and let them see and hear how you demonstrate empathy. Plant a seed, nurture it, and watch it grow....with love.