Thursday, November 17, 2016

Giving Thanks for a One-Eyed Turkey

As we’re rounding the corner to another holiday season, I find myself missing the finger painted turkeys from my sons’ preschool days this year. Young children have a way of capturing the essence of the holiday spirit with their enthusiasm, innocence, and adorable art – even if their turkeys are one eye or leg short!

A recent study found that cultivating Thanksgiving’s spirit of gratefulness in our children actually has many lasting, positive effects. The University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good publication cites: “…Until 2005, we know of no studies that examined gratitude and well-being in young children. Then, in 2006, psychologists Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson conducted an analysis of parents’ descriptions of their children’s strengths—and found that gratitude had the strongest relationship to life satisfaction.” What a gift to cultivate in our children!

The Bible isn’t shy about promoting a continual spirit of thanksgiving in everyone. In I Thessalonians 5:18 we read, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” When we’re obedient, we can experience the three life-changing characteristics of giving thanks. Local folks, I'll be preaching about what those characteristics are at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit at 5 PM this Sunday.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving week, the second episode of my new parenting series, Chaos to Calm, will be airing. Tune into NJ's HomeTowne TV at 9 PM on Tuesday night, 11/22, for “The Chaos of School Social Problems.” I interview a licensed social worker and local school counselor on grief, anxiety, and bullying in children. The episode will also be available via on demand. Stay tuned!

To watch my gratefulness segment for TODAY, click here.

To read my most recent article on being grateful, click here.

This post was also shared on Central Presbyterian Church in Summit's staff blog.

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