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The Lake News Online
  • Guest column: The gift of giving offers plenty of opportunity

  • Thanksgiving is a time when we gather and reflect on our many blessings, including our families, our friends, our health and our homes.
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  • Thanksgiving is a time when we gather and reflect on our many blessings, including our families, our friends, our health and our homes.
    Regardless of race or religion, family traditions will once again be rekindled across our great nation, while others will begin for the very first time.
    A month of gratitude
    One newer tradition is to celebrate each day of November with an attitude of gratitude by listing or sharing several of the many things you are grateful for in that day. This gratitude challenge brings the awareness that helps us to recognize all that we have, rather than always searching for more.
    Some parents have acquainted their children with the challenge, asking them to share the things for which they are grateful at the end of each day. Introducing this level of awareness for children, young and older, will lead them on a path to a life of appreciation, rather than growing up with a sense of entitlement.
    Giving thanks
    So many of us feel blessed in so many ways, so extend a helping hand by serving in a community kitchen, supplying to a food pantry, donating warm coats or Toys for Tots, or tossing a handful of change into the red Salvation Army kettle. However, hunger, poverty and emotional devastation don't only occur during November and December, they impact families across America each day of day of the year.
    Everyday acts
    Living a life of giving can teach your child the value of giving while he is growing, and there are endless small gestures that adults and children alike can do for others each day.A wonderful website, www.kindspring.org is filled with kindness ideas for individuals and families across the world. This virtual community boasts nearly 28,000 participants from 85 countries who log on to share their stories of kindness and generosity.
    Daily family suggestions include a gratitude challenge and a twenty-one day Acts of Kindness challenge, both of which are simple enough to incorporate into everyday life, while teaching through action.
    Another way to express gratitude is to send a holiday or thank you card to a veteran, who fought for our country's freedom while risking his or her own life. Invite your family to send cards of appreciation to a wounded warrior at A Recovering American Soldier, C/O Walter Read Army Medical Center, 6800 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001.
    It is the greatest gift to instill that pay-it-forward feeling to children. As Ann Frank said, "No one has ever become poor by giving."
    Wishing you and your family a heart-felt season on giving, all year long.
    Diana Boggia, M.Ed. is a parenting coach and author of "Parenting with a Purpose." Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.comor The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton OH 44702. Find additional parenting resources, along with links to all of her Repository columns, at Diana Boggia's website, www.yourperfectchild.com.
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