*Today's Guest post is brought to you by Tricia from The Planet Pink*

I'm pretty sure than no parent hopes in their deep heart of hearts that
their children grow up to be selfish.  I mean, it's not like John and Marsha
gaze at each other with a sense of achievement as little Bobby throws a temper
tantrum in the middle of Target because they won't buy him the latest Lego mini

Of course not.  That's when I'm looking around for the nearest hole to jump

We all want our kids to exude gratefulness.  We all want them to show
expressions of thankfulness.  Especially around this time of year.  But that
desire is so often stifled by the reality that kids, in general, want what they
don't have.

Personally, I've found myself at the end of my proverbial rope many times
with my own children, frustrated because I've tried to provide them with
everything they need, only to be told at the end of the day that today wasn't
good because we didn't do x, y and z or because they didn't get a,b or c.

When did we start judging the worth of a day on what we got?

I'm seeing now that no amount of lecturing, no amount of scolding, no
amount of cajoling is going to convince my girls that they have it good.  They
simply have to see it for themselves.

Enter: The Thankful Tree

I stumbled across this while perusing Pinterest.com one day (ah, Pinterest, how I love
thee!) and I was immediately drawn to the idea.  Like so many other
"Pinspirations" that cross my path, I knew I wanted to recreate this one.

So I've been planning for weeks, collecting supplies, willing the weather
to cooperate so it feels like fall.  I am so excited to unveil this Thanksgiving
activity to the girls.  But unlike the one in the picture, ours won't be plain
circles.  Our leaves are empty, awaiting inscription.  Words of thankfulness,
thoughts of gratefulness.  Whatever it is that particular day that we are happy
for, on our leaves it will be written.

Because I didn't want to just do this on my own.  It would be a pretty
decoration for sure.  But my hope is that by giving my girls ownership in this
task that soon our tree will be adorned with many leaves of different shapes and
sizes, all decorated with words of thankfulness, scrawled out in 4 year old
handwriting.  I can tell my girls what they SHOULD be thankful for, but that's
not nearly as meaningful as allowing them to consider and decide for

I'm fully expecting a few leaves with the words "dolls" or "toys" and
possibly, maybe, "sisters".  But hopefully we get some that go a little
deeper.  And as each day passes and we come up with more and more things to be
thankful for, I sincerely hope that our tree serves as a beautiful reminder of
all the wonderful blessings in our lives.

I have no doubt that I am still going to experience several more temper
tantrums in Target.  But maybe I'll be able to handle them better if I know that
deep down my children are capable of expressing thankfulness and that
this one moment in time is not a reflection of who they are or a prediction of
who they are going to be.  They're kids.  I'm doing my part by giving them the
seeds of thankfulness, helping them water and hopefully in time, watching their
trees grow.

Thank you for sharing...

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