EARLY YEARS: Teaching kids to be grateful, even during challenging times

Mom and blogger Caitlyn Scaggs encouraged her children to create what she calls “gratitude pumpkin”
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 5:43 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A pandemic, protests and often contentious politics, 2020 has brought its share of challenges.

That’s why it’s important for parents to help children find things to appreciate, especially as we head toward the holiday season.

“So really, I think it’s in the small, quiet moments that the family’s together that we can make the most and really celebrate gratitude,” says mom and blogger Caitlyn Scaggs.

Simply telling kids to count their blessings might be a bit too abstract for them. That’s why Scaggs came up the idea for a “gratitude pumpkin.”

“And on the pumpkin we take a sharpie, and write around the top of it, layers and layers of things we’re grateful for,” says Scaggs.

Her own two children were happy to share some things they put on their gratitude pumpkin.

Six-year-old Peyton says, “I’m thankful for Granny and Poppy and Mimi and Papa.”

His big sister Harper has her own list. “Daddy’s cooking. Teachers. Laughter. Adventures. Weekends. Time together.”

That last one, time together, just might be the most important one of all for any family.

Scaggs says she tries to also make her kids thankful for the tough days, too.

“It’s in the moments that they tell me about their day and their challenges. So, when they tell me about a challenge, I often tell them, well, what did you learn from it? It’s not about false positive. It’s not about choosing to see things in a an overly sunny way, but I think even in all the challenge, there is always something good that we can point out.”

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