Thanksgiving isn’t just about turkey or the pilgrims – it’s about gratitude. It’s about appreciating all the wonderful people in your life and spending a day eating, talking, playing games, telling stories, and then eating some more. We think it’s the perfect time to start a new tradition, too – one that reinforces gratitude all year long – telling gratitude bedtime stories and writing in a gratitude journal every night. The best Thanksgiving bedtime stories are the ones your family has that show just how much you all mean to one another. Stories that say, “thank you for being you and being such a wonderful person.” There are also really great kid’s books about gratitude you can use. Either way, here are a few ideas to get this new tradition started.
Share a Personal Story
Tell your kids some true stories from your life. You could talk about how thankful you are for the things they do or go back further and tell some stories about when you were a kid. It could be an extra nice thing that a Grandparent did for you or something that your mom and dad did when it was time for you to go to bed when you were small. We bet your kids will love these stories as they try to imagine what mom and dad were like when they were little.
Have Them Tell You a Story
Ask them if they have a favorite memory of a relative or something special that a friend did for them. You might be surprised how much your kids will love this once they get started. This kind of gratitude will fill them with positive, warm, glowing memories to fall asleep to. What’s better than that?
Ask Grandma to Tell Them a Good Night Story
Of course, this doesn’t have to be only Grandma. If someone special to the kids lives nearby, see if they could tell a story about gratitude from their lives’. Your kids can see that all of us have memories of people doing loving things for one another and that we all have things to be thankful for.
Read a Book About Gratitude
There are plenty of great books out there! Check out our Pinboard.
Follow Cloud b’s board Teaching Gratitude on Pinterest.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
We did an earlier post about the benefits of writing in a gratitude journal each night before bed. Thinking of something to be grateful for each day not only reinforces gratitude and makes people happier, it also improves sleep! Thinking of all that you have to be thankful for instead of worrying about something that went wrong that day will send your children into sweet dreamland with a smile.
We hope that your family enjoys a new nightly routine of gratitude. Isn’t that what the holidays should be? Let us know in the comments if you have some special Thanksgiving traditions that you want to share. We’d love to hear how your family enjoys spending their holidays together!