Somehow, our Friday night family mealtimes had turned into whinge-sessions. The kids were complaining about school, each-other and everything else. It had to stop!
The next Friday, I made a special drink – mixed fruit juice with fizzy lemonade – in a large jug and placed it in the middle of the table. “This,” I said, “is thankful juice.” I began filling their glasses. “You cannot have your first sip until you say something from this week that made you happy – something you are thankful for.”
The kids loved the game and the next Friday they asked if we could have thankful juice again.
It became a family ritual.
One busy Friday, I left the glasses off the table and hoped it would go unnoticed.
“WHERE’S THE THANKFUL JUICE?!?!” my grade 3 daughter asked in dismay. I explained I had forgotten to buy any and was sorry. She stood and told her grade 6 brother to follow her. As they went into the kitchen, I heard her say, “You get the glasses and I’ll get the thankful juice.”
When they returned to the table, glasses were placed in front of each family member. Then a jug of water was placed in the middle of the table, “This is our thankful juice, tonight.” And it was.
Once thankfulness is part of our lives, we don’t let go of it easily.
Gratitude does great things for our self-esteem, our relationships and our general health.
Create a thankfulness tradition in your family, today!
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For more parenting pondering,
see the "Parently" section of this blog.