• Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m always trying to come up with creative ways to teach my children to appreciate what we have. My parents used to always remind us of how there were starving children all over the world, which didn’t make much of an impact since I felt so far removed. I couldn’t see them, and soon after the reminder about starving children we had clearly moved on and were feasting on a huge turkey and meal. So, often it would go in one ear and out the other.

    My kids thought it would be cool to role play and jumped at the opportunity

    Last year, my children put on a skit at our house depicting the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. After their presentation they had another surprise for us—our four children made a little skit about a day in our family. One took on the role of my wife, another of me, and the two smallest ones played children’s roles. It was pretty funny and entertaining but then it got me thinking. I proposed that we take on each others’ character roles for the remainder of that Thanksgiving day. My kids thought it would be cool to role play and jumped at the opportunity.

    So, for the remainder of Thanksgiving we all chose different family roles. Thankfully, the meal was already prepared. My wife and I went out to the backyard to play some cards and we left it up to the children to set the table, serve and clean-up. After the initial excitement, they did not think it was fun at all and were ready to call it quits! Of course, we had to jump in and help them every once in a while but after an hour or so, they certainly had learned one lesson of thanksgiving – appreciating others.

    This year, the kids have already volunteered to play these roles again on Thanksgiving day. Not so much for the fun of it but to help out and really gain a perspective of what role each family member plays. This gives my wife and I a little break, while the kids get a chance to show their appreciation. Now if I could only figure out a way to get them to help pay the bills…. Happy Thanksgiving!