The pandemic has invariably taken a toll on every family in different ways, and as adults, we easily express, complain, and lament about our struggles. Gratitude seems hard to come by and caught in this confusion of emotions are children, many times not understanding why their parents are more irritable. Their raw, impressionable minds react the only way they know how. By absorbing the same emotions and projecting them with all their might, children emulate what they see, so it is a constant effort when it comes to modeling behavior around our kids.
Being a WFH mum to three, this year has been unbelievably tough, many nights ending with sighs, sobs, and sniffles. And let me give you a hint: It wasn’t the children.
All things said and done, there is much to be happy about. This thanksgiving, we are not just making an effort to express what we are truly thankful for, but also to practice a positive behavior, that isn’t perfect, but mindful and just consistent enough.
What Can We Do?
As a family, there are plenty of activities that spark joy, togetherness, feeling of bonding and love. Numerous studies have shown people who express gratitude feel better about their lives, build stronger relations, feel more supported, and are actually physically fitter!
Let us have a look at how we can start this festive season feeling thankful and kindle the spirit of Gratitude in our children as we do.
Ways To Kindle Gratitude In Your Family
There is a special bonding that comes from cooking in a group. The act of preparing food together teaches children dependability, and trust. It is one of my favorite activity to do with my kids, as it gives me the time to calibrate away from the stress and work and reconnect with them.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, smaller kids can feel immensely useful only by handing you a plate and the older ones beam with pride after having chopped a salad themselves. Here I talk about some simple and fun foods young children can make by themselves, with a little assistance of course!
HOWEVER, if things go south, and you end up needing a dinner to save your thanksgiving, here are 8 places in Austin you can order your healthy Thanksgiving dinner from!
Did you know there are foods that can affect and improve a child’s moods? Read about such uplifting foods here!
Family dinners can impact the physical and mental well being of children. When we join at the dinner table as a single unit, listening and cueing off each other’s vibes, there is a lot we can learn about what our children are going through and what they want to tell us, that sometimes we fail to listen. Want to know more about the benefits of family dinners? Have a look here.
For this Thanksgiving, I would highly recommend that you customize these dinner routines to see what suits your family best, but these are some great ideas.
Family Dinner Routines To Strengthen Bonds
P.S: Let me reiterate that these activities should be done at dessert or before dinner is served. It’s hard to be grateful with cold turkey on the table.
- Let everyone share what they are grateful for about 2020. Some ideas to start with are: Teachers, Front line workers including medical staff and food delivery personnel, and the Internet!
- Say a couple sentences about why you’re grateful for the person next to you.
- Ask children what makes them smile (their lists can be unbearably cute.)
- With this year’s distancing and reduced family visits, have everyone write a thank you letter to family members who couldn’t be with you. Have stamps ready and make a family trip to the mailbox post dinner so the children feel a sense of accomplishment.
- A lesson in altruism is often the best antidote to all feelings of discontent, follow this blog to know where in Austin you can help out the community. It is the best way to give thanks.
On a final note, families who make small gratitude acts a ritual to their daily routine, will always benefit. Make dinnertime a ‘gratitude time’, where you share with your kids the highlight of your day and encourage them to do the same.
Attend Thanksgiving Events In Austin Together
Rather than staying at home and moping away the evening, go for family events that are holding “drive through” events. Many organizers are also having online events that you and your children can register for.
Here is a list of events taking place in Austin for to make your Thanksgiving brighter and more festive!
Circuit of The Americas (COTA) debuts an all-new event to help the community celebrate the holiday season in a safe and joyous way. Peppermint Parkway invites Central Texans to experience a magical drive-thru on select nights from November 27 to December 27. The holiday spectacular will be a one-mile driving attraction that will immerse visitors in millions of holiday lights synchronized to joyful holiday classics.
Guests will experience the entire event in the comfort of their own cars. The thoughtfully designed holiday experience will feature dancing elves and other festive entertainers strolling through dazzling scenes, transporting guests from gingerbread alley to an enchanted forest, and so much more.
Peppermint Parkway will operate from 6-10 p.m. on weeknights and 6-11 p.m. on weekends and the week of Christmas. Visit http://thecircuit.com/peppermint for more information and special pre-sale discounts!
Reserve your tickets for Austin’s exciting new interactive art gallery & immersive experience, MESMERIZE! It runs through the month of November and December, so you have plenty of time to book your tickets. This universal gallery is like no other, filled with cosmic curiosities and spectacular art adventure. All kinds and ages are welcomed on this creative adventure, with kids under 3 enjoying free of cost!
Mesmerize is a multisensory environment that connects people and spreads joy. This can be an awe-striking opportunity for you to bond with your children. So, go on and book your tickets to Mesmerize, Here!
From Scratch: Felt, Fiber And Fabrics!
A month-long webinar series for students exploring sculpture from the ground up! In this afterschool series, From Scratch brings to you an UMLAUF Teaching Artist on a monthly theme that integrates traditional 3D art forms with experiments in 21st Century STEAM learning.
In this final Fall theme for the year, From Scratch is diving into “soft sculpture”, or 3D art works made using natural fibers, plant-based materials, and “upcycled” fabrics. Students will get familiar with natural dyes, sewing and stitching techniques, and different fabrics and textures to explore new media art and learn valuable skills for the future.
Your enrollment will get you a supply kit with materials which you can pick up from the museum, and two trips to the Supplibrary at UMLAUF to pick up objects that could enhance your project and meet with the Teaching Artist. Registrations can be done here, this one is an activity, both your kids and you can get involved in with so much to bond over!
Thanksgiving Austin Trail Of Lights
Presented by the Trail of Lights Foundation, the annual event in Zilker Park celebrates the exceptional zeal and spirit of people that make Austin the place we love to call home.
The 56th annual Austin Trail of Lights returns in Thanksgiving, 2020to the city’s iconic Zilker Park as a drive-thru only event.
The Trail features more than 2 million lights illuminating the park, 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels.
Guests will be able to drive through the Trail from November 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021. This year guests will be able to choose a ticket type based on their preferred date and time. Driving through the Trail, you can tune in via your car radio for holiday music, highlights & history, and more. Register here now for this memorable family festive experience.
Thanksgiving in Austin and elsewhere sure isn’t going to be the same as we thought it would be, but coupled with fun family activities, it will be a special one nevertheless!