|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Tuesday, 22 November 2011 22:04|
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week it’s important to help children and family members learn to appreciate all the blessings that we have received. We truly have much to be thankful for…a bountiful harvest, jobs, excellent schools, recreational facilities, community organizations, strong families and more.
In the book Family Treasures-Creating Strong Families Dr. John DeFrain, Extension family and community development specialist, states “We teach our children appreciation and affection, commitment, and all the other wonderful qualities of strong families. We need to begin this education process very early so positive behavior in the family and with others in the community becomes habitual with children from a young age onward. This doesn’t happen by stern lecturing or reprimanding the young. It happens by teaching them in very loving ways how to appreciate each other and express love. We can’t make them do good things when we’re concentrating on making them feel bad.”
So how can we show how much we appreciate each other? Here are ten ideas to get your family started.
•Saying thank you back and forth as you take turns throwing the ball with your toddler
• Focus on your teenager during a long car ride (with the cell phones turned off) and just listen to them. This is one of the best ways to show appreciation with your teenager.
•Make a family favorite food for supper
•Say “good morning”
•Say “thank you”
•Help a family member with household chores
•Post a sticky note thanking them for being who they are
• Say “I love you because…”.Tell your family member why you love them. An example might be “I love you because you’re funny. You have such a great sense of humor.”
•Say something positive to each family member
Showing appreciation for each family member doesn’t have to be something elaborate but it is important that is being done on a regular basis. People in strong families deeply care for one another, and they let each other know this on a regular basis. They are not afraid to express their love.
Appreciation and affection for each other are one of the six major qualities of strong families.
To learn more about strengthening families visit the www.extension.unl.edu/publications website and look for “Creating a Strong Family Appreciation and Affection: Developing and Emotional Bond” G1834 or contact your local University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension office.