A few years ago, I adopted Thanksgiving as a daily practice, and to my surprise, it has transformed my life for the better: I’ve become more centered and peaceful which naturally affected the well-being of myself as well as my family.
Having a deep sense of gratitude benefits us in developing the ability to savor the pleasant moments in life and preserve through the painful ones.
I find that as challenging and complex parenting can be, it is equally inspiring and simple — that is, if we are mindful and appreciate every challenge, pain, delight, and triumph on our parenting journey.
Our children serve as our constant reminder that the ordinary is actually the profound. When we ask children what their most treasured memories are, their typical responses are “camping overnight in the backyard with Daddy,” “baking cookies with Grandma,” or “playing in mountains of snow with friends” — small moments that we adults may not think they attribute much significance to.
I am grateful for being around children on a daily basis — observing their actions and interactions. Getting a glimpse into their delightful world keeps me grounded, reminding me that connection, mindfulness and simplicity are the essentials that fill our heart and soul.
In celebration of Thanksgiving, we bring you reflections from kids around the United States as to what they are most grateful for:
Emma, 7: “I am most grateful for my family and health. I am grateful that we are all together. I am grateful to God for everything.”
Sophia, 5: “I am grateful for my parents, sister, brother, and grandparents. I am also grateful for breastmilk when I was small since it made me grow strong.”
Valerie, 2.5: “Food. Yogurt, peanut butter in a bowl, apples, and peanut butter sandwich.”
Josh, 9: “Family, food, and water. Family because it’s family, and food and water because we need food and water to survive.”
Nicholas, 12: “Having a good mom.”
Tatiana, 11: “I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the house that I live in, for the food that I eat, that I have education, that I’m healthy, and that I am alive.”
Gianna, 8: “I’m thankful that my mom makes dinner for both sides of our family.”
Adriana, 4: “I’m thankful for pancakes, because I don’t like turkey.”
Rachel, 10: “I’m thankful for God, for veterans, for my family, and for my pets.”
Emily, 9: “I am grateful for my life and everything that God created, and for heaven, and I’m grateful for my family, my house, my clothes, my food, everything.”
Nathan, 5: “I am thankful for birdies and that we love animals, and I’m grateful for my family and pets.”
Camille, 18: “I’m thankful for the people who love me and the opportunities I have been given.”
Nicole, 10: “I am thankful for Tapping (EFT) and the breathing technique Mommy taught me to discharge stress.”
Luke, 14: “I’m thankful for being able to choose my career. I’m thankful for Internet. I’m thankful for love, and I’m thankful for family.”
Zaiah, 10: “Friends and family. The chance to live every day and have food and water.”
Julienne, 14: “I am grateful for music.”
Kaiya, 11: “I am grateful that not all animals are endangered.”
Ethan, 2: “Toys!”
Jared, 9: “I’m most grateful for my family.”
I am thankful for Attachment Parenting International (API) for granting me the opportunity to be part of an organization that promotes an intuitive, kind, and gentle approach to parenting — the foundation of our quest for a more tolerant world. I am also grateful for our API volunteer community and readers for all of your support, and for spreading the message of peace and harmony — because together we are a greater force, capable of making a real positive difference in the world.
My warmest wishes to you and your family on this Thanksgiving holiday. May you always find inspiration and gratitude on your parenting journey.
With Mindfulness and Light,