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Readers Respond: How Do You Make Thanksgiving Special for Your Child?

Responses: 4

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From the article: Dressing for Thanksgiving
Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition with your child that transforms this time of food- and guest- and dress-related stress into precious family moments? Share the little things you do to make Thanksgiving meaningful. Share Your Traditions

Not adhering to all Traditions

For at least 10 or more, I have allowed my older son to celebrate Thanksgiving without turkey. To parents who get it, it's not a big deal; but to my family it was horrible. Why? So, his issues mean he won't eat turkey--do the pilgrims care? So what if Thanksgiving dinner for him consists of chicken nuggets & BBQ sauce instead of turkey & cranberry sauce? What he is doing is sitting with family, learning the tradition of sharing with loved ones & working on social issues. To me, that is more important than what he actually eats. For my younger son, getting him to sit for 5 minutes and trying to eat is enough reason for me to give thanks--period. It would offend all the "Martha-wannabes" but it is what it is. I have given my children the tradition of accepting them for who they are and making it work with blended family traditions. I have also let them change their clothes to prevent sensory meltdowns. That tradition is for Mom's sanity! Really, what's more important?
—Guest Mama Bear-NOS

The Photo Cube

I have a 5-year-old daughter with Angelman Syndrome. At Thanksgiving, and all holidays, we take lot of photos with my special daughter's cousins, aunts and uncles. That way when the holiday's over, I can place the photos in a cube ($1 at Target) and she can play with it and remember her family. It's such a treasure.
—Guest Angela

The Thanksgiving Tree

On our dining room table we put a wonderful snarly branch. We had a pile of leaves cut out of fall colored paper - whenever someone did something nice for someone else - a person noticed and they added a leaf. No one was to peek what was written - but everyone peeked. It raised the positives and love in our home and the leaves were read aloud on Thanksgiving - the names of the writers remained anonymous but the person who we were thankful for "what ever they did" Even "---- did not get mad at me today!" were allowed. We used this same tree idea for a New Years (snowballs of ideas for the coming year) and Valentines Day (hearts of love)
—Guest Jodee Kulp

Your Child May Surprise You

I just wanted to second your idea of letting kids wear what they want on special holidays like Thanksgiving. One year we were at a clothing store and I told my son (then age 6) he could pick out something to wear on Thanksgiving. He chose a sweatshirt and a bowtie. I was happy he'd picked out anything, even though the sweatshirt was one of those "faded look" things that comes pre-roughed-up around the edges. On Thanksgiving Day, he proudly wore that sweatshirt and bowtie all day! It was a clip-on bowtie, and of course there was no collar to clip it to, so the bowtie just stayed a little crooked all day clipped to the neck of the sweatshirt. Everyone complimented him on how nice he looked. So sweet!
—Guest JoanCelebi

Share Your Traditions

How Do You Make Thanksgiving Special for Your Child?

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