It is appropriate at this time to encourage teens to take an unselfish look at their lives.
Teens need to sometimes be shown how good they have it, by involving them in unselfish activities like feeding the hungry, or helping at a homeless shelter.
Teens tend to get so wrapped up in their current social situations, wanting what others have instead of being thankful for what they already have.
"I want the latest, the greatest, the new, the now.
" It's important to involve them in situations where they are made aware of what they do have.
Early in November, make arrangements on a couple of Saturdays or after school, to visit and volunteer at local missions and shelters.
Sign your family up to volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter or mission that feeds the hungry.
Volunteer your teens to help out at a clothing bank, sorting and folding used clothes to be resold at a huge discount.
Sign your teens up to serve dinner to a local Ronald McDonald house and get to know the families and why they are there.
Have them go door to door to collect can goods for a local food bank and volunteer to distribute them to families in need.
It does little good for teens to collect money, collect can goods, collect clothing, etc.
and never meet the people they are helping.
Only by meeting and engaging in the lives of those who are less fortunate, will teens ever realize how fortunate they are.
After participating in these activities, on Thanksgiving, have a real discussion with your teens about what they are thankful for.
Encourage them to think not only of the material things, but also about non-material things such as family, friends, and faith.
Don't settle for one-word answers.
Encourage them to explain why they are thankful.
Keep the conversation going even after Thanksgiving.
Christmas is a good time for your teens to start giving back and discovering ways they can help those who are less fortunate than they are.