Posts Tagged ‘thankful’

Teaching Kids to Be Thankful

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Teaching Kids to Be ThankfulYou just can’t convince me that a good fall breeze, beautiful leaves, or a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks can’t make everything better. I love hoodies and all things outdoors. This is my family’s first fall in Arkansas, so I am learning to love the heat (still) and the joys of Saturday morning soccer in the fall. With this season comes a time of reflection and thankfulness.

But how do we teach small children to be thankful? In a world where kids seek satisfaction first and think toys and material goods are the key to happiness, I am perplexed. I am only 32, but I feel like the world I grew up in was different from this one. Here are some ideas on how to teach your little ones to be thankful this fall season.

Serve Others
Thanksgiving is a time when many go without food and fancy meals. You can volunteer with your local church or other civic organization. Food pantries are a great way to show kids that not everyone has a pantry stocked week-to-week. If you have toddlers, seek an organization that will allow you to bring your little ones. If you’re still a mom to a baby, consider baby wearing. (Like we need another excuse to wear our Tula!) Many communities have Thanksgiving dinners that need volunteers. Have your kids help you make small bags to donate to local organizations. October 15 was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. My local MOPS group made small bags to donate to hospitals for moms who have experienced loss. Kids can help stuff bags, make cards, or even help deliver.

Get Crafty
Pinterest is full of fun ideas for fall crafts. Break out the finger paints, markers, and crayons and have your toddlers make small crafts for those they are thankful for this year. We recently purchased a pack of cardstock and made pumpkins for each door in our house. Everyone has a pumpkin bedroom door now. My daughter loves to make crafts for her Mimi and Grammy. If you have a baby, you can still do a fun fingerprint craft.

Get into the Conversation
One fun way to teach our kids to be thankful is to get talking. My daughter just turned 4, and it has been fun talking about who we are thankful for this fall. We were given a small wooden board from Target with clothespins, and each Sunday, we change it up. I sit with her and ask her what she is thankful for this week. I then take small post-it notes and write down her responses. This board hangs by the garage door where we see it daily and we talk about those things for the week. Her first response was Jesus, and this week it was Levi’s naps. (Her 2-year-old brother has recently given up napping.) I added a healthy baby and she even wanted me to write down Paw Patrol and Daddy’s job. It will amaze you what your kids are thankful for and how much they really do notice.

While I don’t have the answer on how to teach our little ones to be thankful toddlers, I do know it’s important that they are aware of the gifts they have. I know I could learn from Johanna and take some tips on how to be thankful for today and what I have. I want my children to grow up to be thankful, appreciative adults. I don’t want to fail them as a mom who is always wishing for more or dissatisfied with the present.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two, almost three, in Arkansas where she is thankful for Shopkins and naptime so she can blog.

The Power of Being a Thankful Mom

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Power of Being a Thankful MomWith the holidays upon us, thankfulness is in the air. Everyone seems to be a little nicer–the cashier at the grocery, your child’s teacher, your relatives. But, what does it mean to be a truly thankful mom? As I started to think about this blog, I noticed how convicting this topic really is for me.

I am thankful when things are easy. I’m thankful for my daughter learning new words. I’m thankful for my son who just learned how to coo and squeal. I’m thankful to get to stay home with my kids and wear pajamas and bake cookies during the day. But what about when things aren’t so easy?

Am I truly thankful when my 2 year old throws a tantrum over the song I play in the car? Or what about when my infant keeps me up all night and I am exhausted? How do I find the thankful heart in those circumstances?

I want to encourage you this holiday season to be a thankful mom. Of course we need to thank others when they do nice things for us. But more importantly, we need to be thankful for the little things. Are we thankful for the chance to be a mom? For me, this was a title that was not easily attained. Many women struggle with infertility and face obstacles in conception.

What about our kids? Are we thankful for the beautiful mess they create in our lives? Are we thankful for the toys on the floor that we can afford or do we only see the disorder? Are we thankful for the sweet blessing of a baby in our lives, or do we just see the laundry pile up and bank account drain?

I know I want my children to be grateful and thankful for their blessings. I want to be an example for them. I want to be thankful–truly thankful. Thankful for the bad days and good. Thankful for the precious moments and the toddler fits. Thankful for the journey.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. She loves her kiddos and is thankful for the opportunity to write blogs.

Pregnancy Week 28: Being Thankful

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Pregnancy Week 28: Being ThankfulAs my belly continues to grow and my emotions continue to rage, I have been thinking this week about being thankful. It sounds simple, but I feel like it is not always easy to be thankful while you are expecting. I am thankful for the tiny kicks, healthy baby, and possibilities that await my son.

But, it’s hard to be thankful sometimes when I am up in the night searching for Tums, or when I see a stretch mark pop up on my expanding mid-section. It’s in those times that I am forced to reach for a little perspective along with the antacid.

I’ve never had any real health issues, so I assumed getting pregnant would be a breeze. But with my daughter Johanna, getting pregnant was no easy task—it took almost 16 months for us. Infertility affects 6.7 million women between the ages of 15-44 according to the CDC. Most infertility problems result from issues with ovulation in women. Polycystic ovarian syndrome and primary ovarian insufficiency can also play a role in causing fertility issues is women.  More causes of female infertility include blocked fallopian tubes, physical problems with the uterus, and uterine fibroids.

In addition to having problems getting pregnant with our daughter, we also lost her twin at 9 weeks pregnant. Losing a child at any stage is heart-wrenching. Babycenter says that between 50 and 70 percent of first trimester miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities. I know several women who have dealt with the pain of miscarriage far worse than I have.

So when I start to catch myself complaining about how much weight I’ve gained or how many pimples I seem to be acquiring, I stop, look back at how far we’ve come, and decide to be thankful. I am thankful for this life growing inside of me. I am thankful for the chance to be a mother again, and the chance to experience this amazing miracle of pregnancy. What about you, momma, what are you thankful for?

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way in Northern Indiana. She loves her daughter Johanna with all of her heart, and she can’t wait to shower her little guy with love in August!