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As the days of the pandemic linger on, this holiday season may be filled with tough choices and changes for families.  With Thanksgiving only a few days away, feelings of gratitude take the center stage, spotlighting the importance of resilience and reflection during tough times. This week let’s redirect our attention inward, away from the uncertainty and towards the people and things that matter most. Over the next few days, take time to reconnect and reflect with your child. Here are a few ways to share a special moment of hope and gratitude this week: 

Gratitude Walk 

Venture outdoors together to bring a renewed focus to the present. Whether it’s a stroll around the neighborhood or a family hike in nature, being active together without distractions provides an opportunity for reflection. As you walk together, notice your surroundings and encourage your little one to describe what they see. Practice vocalizing the things you are thankful for. Model for your child by telling them something you appreciate and encourage them to do the same. Moments like these give us a chance to pause, shift our thoughts towards gratefulness and bring forth positive emotions.  

Cook Together 

A toddler in the kitchen can normally be cause for concern. But if we look past the spills, cooking together can harness your child’s curiosity and provide for a moment of meaningful connection. Rolling out dough, measuring ingredients, and pouring liquids support early number sense and fine motor skills. Use these opportunities to reflect on family traditions and name emotions. As you share the origin of your time-tested pie recipe, share with your little one how it makes you feel, and inspire them to do the same.  

Virtual Care Packages 

Connect with a loved one in a creative way. The presence of supportive adults and meaningful connections in a child’s life builds resiliency and promotes positive thinking. Instead of meeting in person this year, send clips and photos of your child to loved ones. Ask them to share a silly message or tell a relative what they have been working on or playing with.  

As we take time this week to reflect together, focus on making the most with the opportunities each day brings. Though we may not know what lies ahead, we can restore hope for the future by prioritizing our children’s well-being today. Checking in with our emotions, practicing mindfulness, and sharing our thoughts of thankfulness are ways that you can fill up with hope this week.  

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