Our kids have moments of thankfulness, just like us. But around the big holiday, we want it to really sink in, right?
I’ve done the Thanksgiving blessings book, I’ve had everyone write 30 things they’re thankful for, and we’ve done thankfulness games at the table (Family Fun & Disney both have loads of these).
They all were lovely. I especially liked the 30 things list. But this holiday break we’ve had a few discouraging parenting moments. You know the ones – you’ve planned a great time and then something happens or they realize what they DON’T have or CAN’T have and all the wonder and magic a few minutes ago seems to disappear.
I can relate. I’ve been known to say “This is Wonderful!” and “Oh No! This is Horrible!” within the space of a few minutes.
Yeah, I know – We’re a passionate family.
Nevertheless, I came across Dr. Paul’s exercise in perspective changes. (His article on thankfulness is enlightening.)
So, here it is:
We took the kids in a room and told them to turn around and find as many BLUE things as they could.
Then I told them to look into my eyes and tell me all the GREEN things they saw.
Their little eyes narrowed. But they tried to tell me. And they missed a bunch.
“You know why you didn’t notice all the green things?”
“Yes, because you were focused on one color. You missed out on all the rest.”
So many lessons can be gleaned from this game. But this time, we focused on all the wonderful things they had to be thankful for that they were missing by focusing on one thing they didn’t have or couldn’t do.
And the recognition in their eyes, the self-realization they gained from this little game, was priceless.
And I’m so thankful.
Now if I could just teach the dog…