Fall and winter days demand changes in clothing and activities. Families layer on garments sufficient to maintain body warmth while jogging, hiking, walking, skiing, and sledding in parks and meadows, and on mountain slopes. Brisk winds and crisp temperatures invigorate the emotions and energy to peak heights. Wise families schedule routine outdoor activities that bring moderate sunlight exposure to eyes and skin during winter seasons when days are short and nights are long.
Conversely, wise parents use the long dark hours of winter to engage children in expressions of gratitude and giving. After sundown is an excellent time to distribute paper, pens, and envelopes among family members to write notes of encouragement and gratitude, and to supply financial gifts to people who have been instruments of blessings to the family, or who simply need encouragement during a time of loneliness, depression, or financial need.
These correspondence episodes become practical opportunities to express writing skills and vocabulary enrichment as children are guided by parents to apply grammar and communication knowledge on paper. A Thesaurus and Dictionary facilitate enriched sentences. Some children will want to apply poetic interests to “spruce up” their notes. Artistic children will embellish their letters with color and graphics.
Such family expressions of gratitude build fond memories while training children to be grateful and appreciative. They enhance a sense of gratitude which is vital to sound mental wellness. Wise people practice the life style of encouraging one another with words and deeds.
This fall and winter, enjoy the season of snow during crisp days, but don’t neglect the great opportunities available to train children on gratitude and communication skills during dark hours of short days.