New York City's YMCA Provides Top Tips for a Thankful Thanksgiving

Nov 24, 2015, 09:00 ET from The YMCA of Greater New York

NEW YORK, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Black Friday approaches, parents are often bombarded with catalogs, commercials, and their own children's demands for gifts. Instead of rushing to shop before the turkey gets cold, parents can take time to teach thanks this holiday season. New York City's YMCA offers tips for talking to kids about gratitude and giving back. A study published in the journal Psychological Science has proven that the power of gratitude can reduce costly impatience and mitigate emotions that may lead to irrational impulses for immediate gain, such as financial impatience.

How do you nurture gratitude in children, not just during the holidays but over the whole year?

Gary Laermer, chief development officer for New York City's YMCA, offers some tips for how to make this holiday season about giving instead of getting.

Tips for a Thankful Thanksgiving

  1. Create a gratitude journal or photo album: What are you thankful for? Write it down and include photos in your book. You can reflect as a family, discussing it at the dinner table or at bedtime. Make sharing what you appreciate a daily ritual.
  2. Teach an attitude of gratitude: Kids are inclined to copy your behavior, so practice thanking your partner in front of them. When you work gratefulness into your daily life, your children will adopt the same attitude of gratitude.
  3. De-clutter and donate: Encourage your children to donate toys they no longer use or clothes they've outgrown. Let them know that another child would appreciate these things.
  4. Start a 365 tradition: You do not have to wait until the third Thursday of November to give thanks. Do it every day with and around your children. Pick a practice that works for your schedule—perhaps over breakfast, at the bus stop, or after school—and go for it!
  5. Make it stick: Post notes around the house thanking your family members for showing kindness or doing chores. The surprise message will put a smile on their faces
  6. Volunteer: Encourage your children to help others, and volunteer as a family. Visit your local YMCA to see how you can get involved.

About the YMCA of Greater New York
The YMCA of Greater New York is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves New York City's health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In scores of neighborhoods across the five boroughs and its camp upstate, the Y makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower more than 500,000 New Yorkers to learn, grow and thrive. Visit ymcanyc.org. Follow us on Twitter @ymcanyc and Facebook at facebook.com/ymcanyc.

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SOURCE The YMCA of Greater New York