An Attitude of Gratitude. (By Sarah Senst)

With many families still struggling and even those who are not, this is an appropriate time of year to teach an attitude of gratitude.  It may be easy for kids to focus on what they don’t have or won’t get, especially compared to those of their peers. Regardless of a families’ financial situation it is helpful  to use the holidays as a time to teach family values. Any gift, whether big or small, can come from the heart keeping the recipient in mind. So what values are important to you and your family?

The holidays are considered by many to be a time of excess. Teaching anything in moderation, to include gift giving, is a valuable lesson for all. This is a lesson in quality versus quantity and with the idea of thoughtful and mindfulness at heart. For families in financial struggle this may be a time to teach humility and the idea of thankfulness for what is as opposed to what isn’t. It can be an attitude of gratitude that there IS something in the glass at all, and whether it is half-empty or half-full is irrelevant. For any family, it is important to teach and model attitudes of acceptance and non-judgment towards others. Just because a family may be currently struggling does not mean they are lazy, ungrateful, or dependent. We do not know anyone’s circumstances based on what we see from the outside.  And lastly, an attitude of genuine kindness can go a long way this season, being kind to yourself as well as to others!

For more ideas on talking to your kids about the holidays, stress and giving, more ways to support your family and for other great parenting tips call the Family Support Line at 1-800-CHILDREN (800-244-5373) OR 1-866-Las-Familias (866-527-3264) for Spanish speakers. You can also e-mail with questions or concerns. The Family Support Line offers parenting tips, resources and information only and does not serve as legal or mental health advice. We believe you are the paramount person to decide what is best for your family. Comments provided by non-Families First individuals are not the opinion of Families First.

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